(b. 1644, Amsterdam, d. 1708, Amsterdam)
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Although some specialists in marine painting who worked during the last decades of the 17th century are not without interest - among them Abraham Storck who painted imaginary Mediterranean ports - neither they nor Bakhuizen were able to maintain the high standard set by van de Cappelle and Willem van de Velle the Younger. In the late marine paintings, over-agitation and overly emphatic contrasts take the place of subtle co-ordination. The perspective effect is overdone, and the tonal designs harden. As in the work made at the beginning of the century, novelties and anecdotal tendencies become more important than the impression of nature. Too many things happen in the late seascapes. In the tempests, stormy seas and dramatic skies compete as rivals for our attention, and in the calms, a minute realism overburdens them with detail.