Oil paintings, Fine art

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Ships in a gale

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
Gallery locationNot on display

Object details:

Object ID BHC0809
Description A small panel painting showing three Dutch ships weathering a gale and choppy seas - though it may, in fact, be the same ship shown from different viewpoints and with slight differences of sail set. They are shown against a sky filled with heavy storm clouds, with both the sun and wind coming from the left of the picture. All three ships are under reduced sail for the conditions, the ones at centre and back right with half-lowered foresails and the left-hand one also with mainsail, while both those at left and right also have their lateen mizzens set but the central one, running entirely before the wind, does not. In this way the three views represent particular points of sailing, with the ship on the left beating across the wind on a fine starboard reach, the one at centre running, and that at far right on a very broad port reach. All three fly Dutch flags from at least two masts. This is typical of Wou’s later works influenced by Jan Porcellis and Simon de Vlieger, which often feature such grey tones and a small group of ships in choppy seas. Wou worked in Amsterdam where he also gained income as a tobacco dealer and panel maker for other artists.
Date made Early to mid 17th century

Artist/Maker Wou, Claes
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Fund
Materials oil on panel
Measurements Frame: 666 mm x 1110 mm x 60 mm;Painting: 508 mm x 965 mm
  • Ships in a gale (BHC0809)
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