The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Vessels in a Breeze
  • Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633 - 1707)
  • Vessels in a Breeze
  • Netherlands
  • probably c. 1655
  • Painting
  • Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 41.7 x 55.6 cm
  • Signature: 'smalschip: W V V'
  • P215
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • The older brother of Adriaen van de Velde (see the east wall of this gallery), Willem the Younger began painting in his father’s Amsterdam workshop, before establishing an independent reputation for his calm scenes with shipping. Based on the comparison with a picture signed and dated 1654, Van the Velde the Younger probably painted this picture a little later. It shows a smalschip, a ship designed for inland waterways, in a patch of sunlight in the right foreground with a weyschuit, or small open fishing boat, alongside. To the left a large ship flies a Dutch flag and ensign. The picture demonstrates Van de Velde’s masterly evocation of the subtlest changes in conditions at sea. Here, the effects of a stiff breeze are captured in the crested waves, the scudding clouds and sunlight reflected off the sea.