Book Review-‘Van de Velde & Son, Marine Painters: The firm of Willem van de Velde the Elder and Willem van de Velde the Younger, 1640–1707’ by R. Daalder, translated by M. Hoyle

By Ron Brand, published December 2020


Britain’s most famous marine painter, William Turner, sighed at the sight of an eighteenth-century print of a painting by Willem van de Velde the Younger: ‘This made me a painter!’ For obvious reasons, this frequently cited anecdote is mentioned in the book Van de Velde & Son, Marine Painters, because both the Van de Veldes, father Willem the Elder (1611–93) and his son Willem the Younger (1633–1707), formed with their seascapes an important link between the Dutch Republic and England, and thus the basis for an English school of marine painters. After beginning their successful careers in Leiden and Amsterdam they moved to England. At the invitation of King Charles II, the Van de Veldes worked from 1672 onward at the English court where they received an allowance. This step seems remarkable, because the Dutch Republic and England, the two most important seafaring nations at that time, were almost constantly at war with each other from the middle of the seventeenth century. Apparently, artists stood so far from the political complications that the switch from their old to their new homeland could easily be made. The Van de Veldes even returned regularly to the Dutch Republic for commissions…

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Art & Music

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