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Willem van de Velde: 'A Dutch Yacht saluting'

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This is the largest and most elaborate painting by Willem van de Velde in the National Gallery's Collection. It is signed inside the wreath on the pennant of the boat in the right foreground, and dated 1661 on the stern of the row-barge to the left. The central vessel is a 'statenjacht' (a vessel used by the Dutch chamber of provincial representative, the States General, to transport its members and visitors) with the arms of the Province of Holland and, above, those of Amsterdam, which are also present on the stern of the row barge alongside. In the left foreground there is another row-barge with the arms of the admiralty.

The painting probably represents the departure of admiralty officials on their way from Amsterdam across the Zuiderzee to visit the fleet.

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