Men in a boat near two Dutch ships
Two Dutchmen-of-war are shown at anchor, the ship on the right is shown in broadside view, and the ship on the left is seen from the starboard quarter. There are four figures on the shore in the foreground. One man seated with his back to the viewer, observes the scene through a telescope that he holds in his right hand. Another figure stands facing towards the viewer, holding a boat-hook with his right hand and pointing with his left. Two other figures are seated in a small boat in the foreground, the man on the right holds a tankard, and the man on the left holds a pole, possibly another boathook. Several piles have been driven into the water on the left.
Sillemans was probably born in England but spent his working life in Amsterdam. He principally painted grisailles in pen and ink on a gesso ground, in the style of van de Velde the Elder. He applied a variety of techniques and experimented with a method of offset to replicate the designs of some of his pictures printing directly on to the gesso ground. This is an example signed and dated 1652 on a floating spar, lower-right. See also BHC0766 for a later copy of the same scene.
Original size: 287 mm x 391 mm
- Image reference: L0233-004
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund
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