(b. 1577, Antwerpen, d. 1664, Utrecht)

Coastal Landscape with Ships

Oil on canvas
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

Adam Willaerts was one of the followers of Hendrick Vroom who painted historical and quasi-historical maritime events in his style. Born in Antwerp, he settled in Utrecht early in the 17th century and spent the rest of his life there. By the time of his death he had seen what artists of the tonal classical phase of Dutch painting had accomplished. His own works began to show a shift in style with their lower viewpoints and more muted colour harmonies. In addition to the standard repertoire of Vroom's followers his oeuvre includes traditional biblical subjects related to the sea (Jonah and the whale, the miraculous draught of fishes, Christ preaching on the Sea of Galilee), beach scenes with busy large crowds, and views of rocky mountainous shores dotted with pine trees and goats that suggest he had access to works by Roelandt Savery who had settled permanently in Utrecht by 1619.