Calm Sea

Object Details

Title:

Calm Sea

Artist/Maker(s):

Willem van de Velde the Younger (Dutch, 1633 - 1707)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

about 1665 - 1666

Medium:

Black chalk and gray wash

Dimensions:

16.5 x 40.2 cm (6 1/2 x 15 13/16 in.)

See more

See less

During the Dutch Golden Age, the River Ij provided access to merchant vessels traveling between Amsterdam and the North Sea. In this panoramic view, tall sails and a distant city skyline animate a thin horizon line that separates sky from water. A dark band of wash near the bottom of the page conveys the water's depth and expanse.

The only elements that hint at movement are the ships' billowing sails and a rowboat. Subtle washes of gray evoke a light-filled yet solemn atmosphere and underscore the composition's calmness. Inscriptions along the top and bottom edges of the drawing identify the scene's location along with a few other facts, adding a documentary element to this evocative picture.

Willem van de Velde the Younger followed his artist father's example and specialized in marine scenes like this one. While his father took a meticulous, documentary approach to his subject matter, Van de Velde the Younger developed a more expressive style.

Provenance
- 1920

Henry Charles Petty-Fitzmaurice, fifth marquess of Lansdowne, 1845 - 1927 [sold, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, March 25, 1920, lot 79, to Hendrikus Egbertus ten Cate.]

1920 -

Hendrikus Egbertus ten Cate, Dutch, 1868 - 1955

Adolph Schwartz (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

- 2002

Private Collection, sold through Thomas Le Claire (Hamburg, Germany) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002.

Exhibitions
Recent Acquisitions in Context (July 28 to November 1, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009, (Cat.)
Recent Acquisitions in Context (January 8 to February 24, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 8 to February 24, 2013, (Cat.)