View full screen - View 1 of Lot 36. WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER | A STATES YACHT FROM THE ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM, BEFORE A MODERATE BREEZE, MEETING A TWO-DECKER.
36

WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER | A STATES YACHT FROM THE ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM, BEFORE A MODERATE BREEZE, MEETING A TWO-DECKER

Property from a Private Collection

WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER | A STATES YACHT FROM THE ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM, BEFORE A MODERATE BREEZE, MEETING A TWO-DECKER

WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER | A STATES YACHT FROM THE ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM, BEFORE A MODERATE BREEZE, MEETING A TWO-DECKER

Property from a Private Collection

WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER

Leiden 1633 - 1707 London

A STATES YACHT FROM THE ADMIRALTY OF AMSTERDAM, BEFORE A MODERATE BREEZE, MEETING A TWO-DECKER


signed and dated lower right: W. V. Velde de jonge 1654

oil on canvas

20 by 26 in.; 51 by 66 cm.


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The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


This work is in good condition. The canvas is lined with a non-wax adhesive. Visible cracking has developed in the sky, particularly in the blue sections in the upper sky, but the paint layer is stable.

The paint layer is clean and varnished. Most of the few retouches are accurately applied, but some have slightly discolored. There are retouches along the left edge, in the upper right corner, and in a few isolated dots in the blue in the upper left. There is a small group of retouches in the sky in the lower center, and another above the sails of the vessel in the middle distance on the left. In the water in the lower right, there are a group of losses along the bottom edge beneath the large ship on the right side, and a small group of retouches in the same ship towards the back of the middle sail. There is slight thinness to the sailboat on the far left in the sails that has received a few retouches, but the rigging seems to be intact. The details in the vessels are generally all very well preserved.

The retouches could be slightly adjusted, but the work could also be hung in its current state.


"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller." 

Francois Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818);

His sale, London, Christie's, 15 June 1822, lot 139;

Possibly John Smith, London;

Mrs. Hibbert, London;

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 23 June 1873, lot 86, for £766 (to Nieuwenhuys);

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 17 July 1886, lot 110, to Rutley for Edward Dent;

Thence by descent to his son, Major Leonard Dent;

By whom sold, London, Christie's, 30 March 1979, lot 69;

With Noortman Master Paintings, London;

From whom acquired by the present collector. 

F.X. de Burtin, Traité, Théorique et Practique des Connoissances, Brussels 1808, cat. no. 176, pp. 337-339;

Possibly J. Smith, A Catalogue raisonné...., Supplement, London 1842, no. 18;

A. Graves, Art Sales from early in the eighteenth century to early in the twentieth century, vol. 3, London 1918-21, p. 276;

C. Hofstede de Groot, Kristisches und beschreibendes Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten hollädischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 7, Esslingen & Paris 1907-28, pp. 45-46, cat. no. 146;

M.S. Robinson, The Paintings of the Willem van de Veldes, vol. 2, London 1990, pp. 764-765, reproduced, cat. no. 55;

M. van Dam, François Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818), unpublished master's thesis, University of Utrecht 2001, pp. 80, 139, reproduced.

London, National Maritime Museum, The Art of the Van de Veldes, 1982, no. 19.

Signed and dated 1654, the present painting constitutes one of Willem van de Velde's earliest works and is of pivotal importance in tracing the development of his incredibly influential career. Van de Velde was only twenty-one when he painted this crisp seascape, however his mature style is already apparent throughout. His precocious and technically advanced style is displayed here in its precise draughtmanship and luminous handling of the cloudscape. 


The painting depicts a States yacht of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, the largest and most important of the five Dutch admiralities at the time of the Dutch Republic, sailing into the open sea and firing a salute which is addressed to and answered by the large three-master, possibly an Amsterdam Indiaman, on the right middle ground. Another Indiaman can be seen sailing in the further distance, amongst other ships. The large shadows on the water, cast by the billowing clouds above, enhance the sense of spaciousness of the open water. 


The picture was once owned by the great connoisseur, physician and physicist François Xavier de Burtin (1743-1818) who mentioned it in his highly influential and comprehensive work on connoisseurship (see Literature). It was also thought to have later come into the possession of John Smith, who in the supplement to his Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French painters likely described this work as demonstrating the "clear silvery tone of his finest manner". 


From a young age, van de Velde began producing outstanding marines in oil paint based on the elaborate drawn studies by his father, Willem van de Velde the Elder. The influence of his father, the official artist of the Dutch fleet, is evident in the meticulous and documentary nature of this work. Indeed, it was Willem van de Velde the Elder who took it upon himself to row in a galley in the water whilst sketching so that he might obtain the optimum viewpoint for his sketches. Such meticulous powers observation were clearly passed down to his son.