Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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A Dutch Whaler and Other Vessels in the Ice

Fine art

Object connections:

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

Object details:

Object ID BHC1016
Description Several types of Dutch shipping are shown trapped in the ice. In the foreground to the right a fluyt sits in the ice, stern view to port. The name of the ship is implied on the stern. A sail is shown drying and the detail of the rigging has been carefully observed. At its bow is a small craft also stuck in the ice. Another ship rests beyond with a richly decorated stern. On the left is a kaag, or cargo vessel with the put leeboard visible. Other shipping is positioned in the harbour beyond. A jetty runs behind the ships on the right and land is shown on the far left in the form of a town indicated by several tall buildings and a windmill. The effects of a cold winter form part of the purpose of the picture. With the ships out of action the artist has shown alternative ways in which the inhabitants were able to move about on the ice. In the central distance two figures sit in a sleigh pulled by a horse and in the foreground goods are being conveyed by a man hauling a sleigh. All the people depicted wear skates and the artist has shown them in some detail, variously occupied. Two women stand by the fluyt with one pointing towards the hull. A workman wearing an apron looks in the direction of the man who has fallen over on the ice. Two men on the far right hold sticks and appear to be playing a form of ice hockey. In the foreground a large hole has been cut in the ice, and the artist has included the carefully cut blocks of ice which have been removed. This stratified, ordered and detailed reveals the careful observation of this Dutch marine artist. He initially worked as a master shipbuilder and sea captain but by about 1694 he had learnt how to paint, training under Abraham Storck. Silo was also an etcher, mezzotint engraver, draughtsman, instrument maker, modeller, goldsmith, shipbuilder and writer. In 1697 he was in Amsterdam giving Peter the Great instruction in the drawing of ships. Peter owned several of his paintings and he reputedly used them to examine cadets at the Naval Academy in Russia. The artist has signed the picture 'Adam Silo' on a piece of driftwood in the foreground on the left.
Date made circa 1757

Artist/Maker Silo, Adam
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 567 mm x 721 mm x 50 mm;Painting: 440 mm x 618 mm
  • A Dutch Whaler and Other Vessels in the Ice (BHC1016)
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