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Ludolf Bakhuizen, A View across a River near Dordrecht (?)

Key facts
Full title A View across a River near Dordrecht (?)
Artist Ludolf Bakhuizen
Artist dates 1630/1 - 1708
Date made about 1665
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 34.1 × 47.8 cm
Acquisition credit Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number NG1000
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A View across a River near Dordrecht (?)
Ludolf Bakhuizen

Ludolf Bakhuizen rarely made his seas calm or sunlit. His is a northern sea with boats scudding before the wind, evoking the sound of straining timbers and slapping rigging.

The vessel speeding towards the distant man-of-war (battleship) is a snaauwschip – a dispatch boat. The man-of-war is at anchor, its sails furled, flying the Dutch colours. The snaauwschip tows a small vessel, perhaps to transfer one of the crew with urgent orders for the man-of-war before it sets sail for one of the many wars fought by the Dutch at the time.

Closer to us the sea becomes more turbulent. A small flat-bottomed boat lying low in the water fights the waves, the sail lowered. Just one face looks out – full of character, the owner’s hand on the tiller – unperturbed and calm in the face of nature’s power.

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