Dutch whalers in the ice
This so-called pen-painting on panel provides a graphic description of whaling practices of the 17th century. A number of three-masters anchor among the pack ice. The carcasses of the hunted whales float between the ice floes and the ships, while sailors in rowing boats and on the ice prepare to strip the animals' blubber. Dutch whaling in the Arctic had started in the early 17th century, driven by the economic aims of the Noordsche Compagnie, or North Company, part of the Dutch fleet. Dutch whalers were sailing up the coast of Greenland and of Norway where they found themselves competing with the British. Dutch whaling reached its peak between 1680 and 1725. It is, therefore, not surprising that the pictorial adaptation of this industry in Dutch art, which itself depended on artists' specialization, also saw an increase during the last quarter of the 17th century. Roelof van Salm (1688-1765) worked in the same style as his more widely known father Adriaen van Salm.
Roelof van Salm
- Image reference: BHC0941
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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