VELDE, Willem van de, the Elder
(b. 1611, Leiden, d. 1693, London)

Frederick Henry's Fleet Waiting on the Merwede River near Dordrecht, 1646

1655-60
Pen, brush, black ink and oil on panel, 78 x 107 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Willem van de Velde the Elder produced over eighty depictions in pen and brush and black ink on a white prepared ground on an oak panel or canvas support. Without exception they depict marine subjects: naval battles, ships before a coast, and scenes of Dutch interior waterways. His portrayal of the sails and rigging of the ships evidences his vast knowledge of his subject matter.

In the present painting Van de Velde portrayed the enormous fleet that Prince Frederick Henry of Orange, stadholder of the Netherlands, assembled on the Merwede River in the summer of 1646.