Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich

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A Ship in a Calm Sea

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC0734
Description Shipping is shown on a calm sea. A coastal craft with a red sail is shown on the left, in starboard-broadside view with the starboard leeboard visible and several figures on board. On the right a ship is shown in port-quarter view at anchor, flying the Dutch flag on the stern and mainmast. The stern is ornately carved, with a coat of arms and red lion visible. Figures can be seen on the deck and also in the rigging. In the foreground on the right a small boat is rowing away from the ship with a man standing in the bows blowing a trumpet, while two sea birds hover overhead. Other shipping can be seen in the distance to the left. Three-quarters of the painting consists of sky. A dark cloud appears in the top left but the rest of the sky is infused with a golden glow that is also reflected in the sea. The artist was known initially to be a cabinet-maker resident in Haarlem. He is recorded as living in Amsterdam as a painter by 1617. In 1623 he wrote to the States General trying to interest them in his invention for blocking certain harbours to prevent enemy shipping entering or leaving. He was later commissioned, around 1628, to paint a scene from the 'Battle of Gibraltar' for the Amsterdam Admiralty and also received commissions to paint other sea battles. At the time of his death he left several other large scenes unsold including the 'Siege of La Rochelle' (Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam) and a 'Battle of the Downs'. He is known to have visited France since he painted a view of Paris in 1637. He was the master of the marine painter Hendrick Dubbels and died in Amsterdam. The painting is indistinctly signed 'Verwer' on the floating barrel, lower left.
Date made Late 16th century to mid 17th century

Artist/Maker Verwer, Abraham de
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Palmer Collection. Acquired with the assistance of H.M. Treasury, the Caird Fund, the Art Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and the Society for Nautical Research Macpherson Fund.
Materials oil on panel
Measurements Frame: 610 mm x 645 mm x 85 mm;Painting: 465 mm x 510 mm
  • A Ship in a Calm Sea (BHC0734)
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