WILLEM VAN DE VELDE THE YOUNGER AND STUDIO
Leiden 1633 - 1707 London
A calm with an English Merchant Ship at anchor
traces of signature on the spar lower centre right: W.V...;
and further signed on the back of the original canvas: W.V.V.J
oil on canvas, in its original English carved and gilt wood frame
63.7 x 77.5 cm.; 25⅛ x 30½ in.
The canvas is lined, the paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. Under raking light it is possible to discern a number of small, restored losses in the clouds to the right of the central mast. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals two fairly extensive campaigns of retouching consisting of small, fine dashes throughout the sky and the upper half of the clouds, most concentrated centre right. There is also retouching along the lower margin and in the lower half of the left-hand margin, most notably to a series of fine, vertical lines in the lower right corner. Further fine lines of retouching occur throughout the smoke of the canon fire lower left. The vessels themselves appear to remain in large part untouched save for a vertical line of retouching in the right-hand side of the sails of the central ship 2 cm. long. These restorations have been sensitively executed and the painting is ready to hang in its current state without a need for further intervention.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
P. Estens, Park Dale, Reigate, Surrey;
G. Smit, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire;
With W.E. Duits, London;
With P. de Boer, Amsterdam, 1951 (when exhibited at the Delft Antique Dealers Fair, no. 51);
Private collection, The Hague;
Anonymous sale, The Hague, Venduehuis, 17 May 2017, lot 1108 (as Studio of Willem van de Velde II), where acquired.
M.S. Robinson, A catalogue of the paintings of the Elder and the Younger Willem van de Velde, Greenwich, National Maritime Museum 1990, vol. II, 1990, pp. 654–55, cat. no. 591, reproduced p. 654.
As with many of Van de Velde’s late English-period paintings from circa 1700, which are likewise richly-coloured and accurately and finely-drawn, this work is signed on the reverse of the canvas with large, flowing initials. The scene depicts an English Merchant ship at anchor, firing a gun to port as a ship’s boat pulls away from her; to the right is a large fishing pink, and other ships are visible beyond.1
1 Robinson (see Literature) notes that the round stern of the principal ship is English, though she also has some 'rather Dutch-looking decoration', and the lion holding an orb on her tafferel may give her a connection with Venice.