Skip to main content

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

Key facts
Full title A Dutch Yacht firing a Salute as a Barge pulls away, and Many Small Vessels at Anchor
Artist Jan van de Cappelle
Artist dates 1626 - 1679
Date made 1650
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 85.5 × 114.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG965
Location Room 19
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Shipping Scene with a Dutch Yacht firing a Salute
Jan van de Cappelle

Jan van de Cappelle’s sea is flat calm and luminous – even the few boats that appear to be moving hardly disturb the still reflections. But there’s a sense of drama in the picture, unusual for the artist. Clouds threaten, and a fitful sun breaks through. The barge in the foreground on the right is rowed with some urgency, and a forest of sails and masts crowd together in the middle distance. A puff of smoke from a cannon reminds us that in seventeenth-century Holland ships were for war as well as trade.

Van de Cappelle painted indoors, using both his sketches and his imagination to craft his marine views. Here, he has lengthened the masts of the boats and painted clouds far more dark and brooding than the still, shimmering water below. Van de Cappelle has successfully put the drama and atmosphere of the composition first, leaving total realism to others.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo