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Jan van de Cappelle: 'A Shipping Scene with a Dutch Yacht firing a Salute'

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The painting is a notable example of a calm seascape conveying an unusual degree of drama. Van de Cappelle was able to achieve to great effect in paint the shimmering water and its reflections. He invents patterns of clouds to complement the placing of the ships, and creates a mood of drama here, with the dark mass of clouds at the top of the painting contrasted with the bright water below. The three main vessels represented are a row barge, to the right, with a prominent dutch ensign, a ferry to the left, and a yacht beyond the barge with its sails unfurled. Its guns are firing a salute and a trumpeter on board is sounding his trumpet.

The painting probably represents the welcoming of an important personage aboard a Dutch government yacht.

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