Anonymous sale, Cologne, Lempertz, 16 November 2002, lot 1125;
With R. Kattenburg, Breukelen;
Private collection, The Netherlands,
Where bought by the present owner.
The well-known Frisian marine painter Wigerus Vitringa was born into a highly respected family with his father being the Secretary of the High Court in Friesland. In 1678, together with his brother Campegius Vitringa, he was promoted to Doctor in Law. Aside of his role as barrister for the Court of Friesland, Vitringa focused on painting. He was very much influenced by the works of Ludolf Bakhuizen (1631-1708), see lots 36 and 41. In 1692 he moved to Alkmaar, where he became a member of the painters guild from 1696 until 1706, when he returned to Leeuwarden.
The central ship, possibly the frigate Tsar Peter, was named after Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725), who visited the Republic in 1697-98. The stern reveals a portrait of a statesperson, first identified by Rob Kattenburg as the famous Tsar, and mentioned that this could very well be a chimney piece, regarding it's unusual size. Tsar Peter the Great visited Zaandam and Amsterdam to learn and work at the big shipyards of the Dutch East Indian Company. According to tradition he worked on the frigate Peter and Paul, specially ordered by mayor Nicolaes Witsen and designed for his visit.
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