Skip to main content

Willem van de Velde, A Dutch Ship coming to Anchor

Key facts
Full title Calm: A Dutch Ship coming to Anchor and Another under Sail
Artist Willem van de Velde
Artist dates 1633 - 1707
Date made 1657
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 55 × 62 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG870
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Dutch Ship coming to Anchor
Willem van de Velde

A merchant ship, probably an Indiaman, comes to anchor. After a long and dangerous journey, perhaps to the Far East or the West Indies, the white sails are being lowered one by one. The flag on the foremast suggests that this is the vessel of the vice admiral of a small fleet. The crew is busy and vessels gather on either side of the ship to take its cargo ashore.

More small boats on the left sail towards the Indiaman, making slow, stately progress in the light breeze. This was a time when everything important to Holland – shipping, fishing, trade, agriculture – was dependent on the weather. Perhaps only painting could continue undisturbed by calm or storm in the multitude of artists’ studios scattered throughout the land. Marine and landscape works like Willem van de Velde’s were sketched in drawings made outdoors, but finished paintings were made inside.

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