We are grateful to Dr. Gerlinde de Beer for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs, and for her help in cataloguing this lot. She has noted that the 'construction of the ships and the boat as well as the way in which the vessels are lying in the water is Backhuysen at his best. The waves of the stormy water are very well rendered. They are excellent. It is perfectly his style of stormy waves in a different combination. Every drawing line shows absolute certainty'. She compares this painting with the Backhuysen storm picture in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, and with its replica in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, both signed with monogram 'LB', and dating to circa 1705 (G. de Beer, Sein Leben und Werk Ludolf Backhuysen, Zwolle, pp. 150-51, nos. 95-6, figs. 185 and 187). She suggests that this picture pre-dates the Amsterdam and Raleigh storm paintings, since it is slightly less dramatised and still shows the influences of early-17th century Flemish shipping pieces, for example the work of Jan Porcellis. The Amsterdam threemaster on the left is comparable to a ship in a drawing in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem (Ludolf Backhuysen: Emden 1630 - Amsterdam 1708 : ein Versuch Leben und Werk des Künstlers zu beschreiben, exhibition catalogue, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1985, p. 104, no. 20).