A Shipping Scene with a Dutch Yacht firing a Salute

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.

Key facts

Artist dates
1626 - 1679
Full title
A Dutch Yacht firing a Salute as a Barge pulls away, and Many Small Vessels at Anchor
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on oak
85.5 x 114.5 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number
Location in Gallery