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In this painting, which is the pair to BHC0732, three ships are shown in a rough sea. That on the left is shown in starboard broadside. Its sails are down as it rides out the storm and it displays flags too indistinct to identify. The ship in the centre is also shown in starboard broadside with the main course and fore topmast hoisted. It flies the Dutch flag from the stern and main mast. The artist has shown the roughness of the waves by exaggerating the angle of the pitch of the ship. Figures can be seen on the deck and in the rigging. On the right a ship is shown in stern view, flying a Dutch flag at the main.
The widespread practice of painting in oil on copper in the early seventeenth century reflected changes in taste, artistic convention, the advance in mining and manufacturing technology, the economy, and the desire for small paintings. The explosive growth of the practice saw the development of the dazzling visual effects that could be achieved, and painting on copper flourished in this climate.
The artist was known initially to be a cabinet-maker resident in Haarlem. He is recorded as living in Amsterdam as a painter by 1617. In 1623 he wrote to the States General trying to interest them in his invention for blocking certain harbours to prevent enemy shipping entering or leaving. He is known to have visited France since he painted a view of Paris in 1637. He was the master of the marine painter Hendrick Dubbels and died in Amsterdam. The painting is signed 'Verwer'.
oil on copper
H 12.7 x W 25.4 cm