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William van de Velde the Younger, 1633 - 1707
|Description||Oval miniature in oil, probably on copper, in an oval gilt (unglazed) display frame with a suspension ring attached by a coiled wire mounting, and an attached scrolled metal display label below engraved 'WILLIAM VANDEVELDE.' The lettering appears black but probably from corrosion effect through being engraved through the gilding. The sitter is shown head and part shoulders, turned half to his left but looking toward the viewer, against a background of blue sky, with a sea horizon to the left and a higher land one to right. On the extreme right is the suggestion of a building resembling the Royal Observatory at Greenwich which, if the case, might allude to the van de Veldes' long residence at Greenwich and use of the Queen's House as a studio from circa 1673-74. Against this stands the fact that the sitter would have to be in his forties, but looks younger. He has long light brown hair, dark (blue) eyes, a slight sandy moustache and wears a plain high collared black coat. The broad lace-edged collar of his shirt is tied together with a tassel closure over the coat. The authority for the received and longstanding identification as van de Velde is not known, but is credible from the print of him in later life after Kneller (PAD2698), which is the only unquestionable portrait. Willem van de Velde and his father, also Willem, were celebrated marine painters and the leaders in bringing that specialism into England in the early 1670s, when they accepted Charles II's general invitation to Dutch artists and craftsmen to come and settle here. They were both here by 1673 and Charles immediately engaged them as 'painters of sea fights', the father primarily as a draughsman and the son as a painter, and gave them a studio in the south-west ground floor room of the Queen's House, which they used for the next 20 years, living locally in East Lane, Greenwich. About 1693 (when his father died), Willem the Younger moved into London and they were both buried in St James's Church, Piccadilly. This miniature was formerly (until 1940) in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch.|
|Date made||circa 1675-76?|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection|
|Measurements||Overall: 65 x 54 mm|
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