Skip to main content
Vessels in a Fresh Breeze
Jacob van Ruisdael
/

Jacob van Ruisdael painted many landscapes, but few marine pictures; the ones he did make are simply views of the sea off the coast of Holland, with small sailing vessels usually in a wind varying from fresh to gale force.

In this painting a small sailing vessel, probably a kaag (an inshore ferry boat) is driven before a fresh breeze under a vast, stormy sky, with a couple of passengers bundled up against the cold. A patch of blue sky suggests that the storm is passing, but it appears that the little boat will be under the clouds for a while as it races along keeping up with them. The vessel’s honey-coloured sails soften the starkness of the scene, making it seem an everyday journey that travellers by sea would be used to. The white sails of the boats speeding away from us give a sense of exhilaration rather than of bleakness or danger.

Key facts
Artist Jacob van Ruisdael
Artist dates 1628/9? - 1682
Full title Vessels in a Fresh Breeze
Date made probably about 1660-5
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 44.5 x 54.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2567
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo