VELDE, Esaias van de
(b. 1587, Amsterdam, d. 1630, Den Haag)

Ferry Boat

Oil on panel, 62 x 113 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Between 1607 and 1640, entrepreneurs and engineers drained vast lakes in the province of Holland, thus creating acres of new arable land. New villages sprung up in these low-lying "polders," protected only by dikes and pumps, driven by the readily available wind power of the flat countryside. At the same time, entrepreneurs created an efficient system of transportation along rivers and canals, as this painting of Esaias van de Velde attests.