Hitherto unrecorded, this is a major addition to the oeuvre of Lieve Verschuier, comparable in terms of scale and ambition with the artist's best works such as the Rijksmuseum's Arrival of Charles II in Rotterdam. Verschuier was one of the most original marine painters in Holland, who evolved a highly personalised technique for rendering lighting and optical effects. This was borne out of a trip to Rome undertaken by the artist in 1655 when he must have come into contact with the landscapes of Claude which seem to have cast a lasting influence on him. Dated by Jan Kelch to around 1665-70, more than a decade after Verschuier's return from Italy, this example reveals the extent of the artist's debt to his Italian experience; the serene, evening-lit coastline clearly recalling the classic harbour scenes of Claude. Verschuier typically delights in the rendition of a rich, mediterranean sky in which the sun is sinking towards the horizon casting dazzling reflections across the water. However, Verschuier's work is also typified by an informed interest in the ships and shipping activities he depicted and in this case they are observed with careful attention to detail. The vessels may indeed represent actual ships although their identities have yet to be established with any certainty. The States Yacht (similar to the one in the Rijksmuseum painting), flying the States' flag, in the right foreground, is of the type only used for official business by the Prince of Orange or a high ranking political figure and might infer that it is possibly a specific event that is being depicted.
We are grateful to both Professor Jan Kelch and Dr. Gerlinde de Beer for independently confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs.