The Dutch fleet returning from Bergen, 3 September 1665
The drawing is one of a series made when the Elder accompanied de Ruyter's voyage to Bergen in the Autumn of 1665. This took place soon after de Ruyter's return from the West Indies when he was chosen as commander-in-chief of the Dutch fleet. He went out in the frigate 'Schiedam' to join the fleet and Cornelis Tromp handed over his command to him. The reorganized fleet sailed northwards to meet the returning East Indiamen. The English found them first, but refused to destroy them at Bergen and de Ruyter was able to escort them home from there, although many were captured after they had been dispersed by a gale. Van de Velde had left Holland with the fleet under Tromp in August, and when de Ruyter took over command, went with him to Bergen. While de Ruyter remained outside the fjords, van de Velde went on up to the town and came back with Pieter de Bitter's fleet of Indiamen. After the storm van de Velde returned home in the vessel taking despatches for Holland.
Willem van de Velde, the Elder
Original size: 323 mm x 823 mm
- Image reference: PT2334
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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