The low horizon gives a vast sky – very much how a sailor in a small boat at sea experiences the world. But the men working on the vessels seem unconcerned with the view: these are inshore working craft.
In the centre is a smalschip, a transport vessel carrying a Dutch ensign. Beached on the spit of sand on the right is a weyschuit, a small open boat used for ferrying goods and people to bigger boats further out. The only man not involved in the on board tasks surveys not the view, but the huge warship a little way out, its sails rigged ready for going to sea.
This picture was painted in the studio of Willem van de Velde and was possibly the work of one of his assistants, not the artist himself. It’s also possible that it is a late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century copy.
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