Ludolf Bakhuizen (Emden 1630-1708 Amsterdam)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM THE CUNNINGHAM COLLECTION (LOTS 38-44)
Ludolf Bakhuizen (Emden 1630-1708 Amsterdam)

A wijdschip, a smalschip and a state yacht tacking, with fishermen in a pink drawing in their nets in the foreground, the man-o’-war ‘Bruinvisch’ lowering sails beyond

Ludolf Bakhuizen (Emden 1630-1708 Amsterdam)
A wijdschip, a smalschip and a state yacht tacking, with fishermen in a pink drawing in their nets in the foreground, the man-o’-war ‘Bruinvisch’ lowering sails beyond
signed 'L Bakhuysen' (center left)
oil on canvas
25½ x 38 7/8 (64.7 x 98.7 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Bukowski, Stockholm,19 April 1961, lot 139.
with J. Bier, Haarlem, 1961.
with Katz, Basel, 1963, from whom acquired in 1964 by the following,
private collection, Hamburg, until,
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, Amsterdam,11 May 1994, lot 180.
with Richard Green, London,where acquired by the present owners.

G. de Beer, Ludolf Backhuysen (1630-1708):Sein Leben und Werk, Zwolle, 2002, pp. 90-91.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Brought to you by

Abbie Barker
Abbie Barker

Lot Essay

Ludolf Bakhuizen was one of the foremost painters of shipping and marine subjects in seventeenth-century Holland. According to Arnold Houbraken, the biographer of seventeenth-century Dutch painters, he began his career as a pupil of Allart van Everdingen and later of Hendrick Dubbels. With the resumption of hostilities between the Netherlands and England in 1672 and the van de Veldes moving to England, Bakhuizen became the pre-eminent marine painter in Amsterdam. His success brought him to the attention of many of the leading patrons of Europe. These included, according to Houbraken, who was himself a patron of Bakhuizen: the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, King Frederick I of Prussia, the Elector of Saxony, and Tsar Peter the Great, all of whom visited his studio.

This picture is a mature work, typical of the artist’s more daring compositions that he developed after 1665, where his colours became brighter and the atmosphere more dramatic. Unlike the Van de Veldes, who were more concerned with representing the technical aspects of sailing vessels and naval battles, Bakhuizen depicted the perpetually changing climate and the magnificent skies of the Netherlands. Houbraken underlined how the artist was particularly attracted to painting storms. In a manner prefiguring Turner, when a storm threatened he would ‘step sometimes into a stageboat and let himself be carried to the mouth of the sea, in order to observe the crash of seawater against the coast, and the changes of the air and water under these conditions’ (De groote schouburgh der Nederlandtsche kontschilders en schilderessen, Amsterdam, II, 1718-21, pp. 236-44).

Gerlinde de Beer dates the picture to circa 1676-80, noting the similarity in colouring with the dated works of the early 1680s such as the signed and dated View of the roadsteed of Plymouth (1680; Munich, Staatsgemäldesammlungen, on loan to Schloss Ansbach). Yet it is the lively lighting and spirited rendering that place the picture firmly at the end of the 1670s (G. de Beer, op. cit., p. 91). The ominous, stormy skies with clouds of all shades of grey, from silverish to charcoal, are contrasted by the brightly-lit strip of sea, increasing the sense of depth within the composition and forming a transition between the dark foreground and glowering sky behind. This sharp sidelight has been beautifully observed by Bakhuizen, pouring through the billowing sails of the vessels, their colour shimmering in the white caps of the rough greyish-green sea.

The man-o’-war Bruinvisch, on the right of the composition, was built for the Admiralty of Amsterdam in 1675. The ship was 96 metres long, 10 metres wide and was equipped with 40 guns, housing a crew of 70 people (see A. Vreugdenhil and J. van Sluijs, Lijst van Nederlandsche Oorlogsschepen, alfabetisch geranglischikt, 1572-1950, mss., 1930-1950, Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum, Amsterdam). It was commanded by Captain H. Veer and formed part of the expeditionary fleet to England in 1688 which was to lead to the Glorious Revolution, the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau.

More from Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

View All
View All