b. about 1626 Amsterdam, The Netherlands, d. 1679 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jan van de Cappelle's paintings are relatively rare. He was wealthy and occupied full-time running his father's dyeing business. Though he painted some beach scenes and winter landscapes, most of his paintings represent the mouths of wide rivers or quiet inner harbors, where groups of ships are anchored in glassy waters. Full cloud formations hang over calm waters that mirror colorful reflections, often in early morning or evening. Few of Van de Capelle's works are dated, but his style changed somewhat over time. His early paintings have a silvery-gray tonality, while his more colorful paintings were made after 1650. At his death, Van de Cappelle's estate was worth more than 90,000 guilders, and he left substantial holdings in real estate, as well as a pleasure yacht from which he probably made sketches for his paintings. He assembled one of the finest art collections of his time, which included works by Jan van Goyen, Frans Hals, and Peter Paul Rubens. He owned nine paintings and 1,300 drawings by his likely teacher, seascape painter Simon de Vlieger, and 500 drawings by his friend Rembrandt van Rijn, who painted his portrait.
Shipping in a Calm