VELDE, Willem van de, the Younger
(b. 1633, Leiden, d. 1707, London)


Velde, van de, family of Dutch marine painters and landscapists of the 17th century.

Willem van de Velde the Elder (circa 1611-93)

Dutch marine painter. He was the son of a naval captain, his brother was a skipper of merchant vessels, and he himself spent part of his youth as a sailor before devoting himself to the drawing and painting of ships. His pictures, which are frequently grisailles, contain faithful and detailed portraits of ships (of much value to naval historians) and for a time he was an official artist for the Dutch fleet. In 1672, when the Netherlands were at war with England, he went to London and entered the service of Charles II; why he left his country at a critical moment in its fortunes remains a mystery.

Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633-1707)

Willem's son, he is one of the most illustrious of all marine painters. He was the pupil of his father and Simon de Vlieger. Like his father, he gave very accurate portrayals of ships, but is distinguished from him by his feeling for atmosphere and majestic sense of composition. He left Amsterdam for England with his father in 1672 and in 1674 Charles II gave them a yearly retaining fee of 100 pounds each; the father received his "for taking and making draughts of seafights" and the son "for putting the said draughts into colours for our own particular use". They did not switch their allegiance to England completely; both subsequently painted pictures of naval battles for the Dutch as well as the English market. Willem the Younger's influence, however, was particularly great in England, where the whole tradition of marine painting stemmed from him.

Adriaen van de Velde (1636-72)

Brother of Willem the Younger, was a prolific artist in spite of his short life. His father and Jan Wijnants were his teachers. He painted various types of landscapes (most notably some fresh and atmospheric beach scenes) and also religious and mythological works, portraits, and animal pictures. He also did exceptionally fine etchings of landscapes with cattle and often painted the figures into the landscapes of other artists, notably Hobbema and Ruisdael.