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A Calm

Photo credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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Jan van de Cappelle was born to a wealthy Amsterdam family and was himself a collector of Rembrandt drawings and sea scenes. He brought the new genre of the maritime view to its peak, demonstrating a genius for balancing the formal considerations of picture-making with the recording of atmosphere, tone and luminosity. This painting depicts a flotilla of Dutch coasters. A person of rank is being rowed from a 'State yacht' towards the fortified town at the right. In the foreground soldiers carouse on the deck of a lighter loaded with field guns and military supplies. The first recorded owner of this painting was Sir Lawrence Dundas (c.1710–1781) who made a fortune as an army contractor during the Seven Years War. A distinguished patron of the arts, in about 1770 Dundas commissioned Zoffany to paint his portrait with his grandson, seated in his London house, with the van de Cappelle prominently displayed over the fireplace.

National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff




oil on canvas


H 110 x W 148.2 cm

Accession number

NMW A 2754

Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the J. Paul Getty Charitable Trust, 1994

Work type


National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff (Caerdydd) CF10 3NP Wales

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