In marine painting of the 17th century, the portrait format (as shown here) is rather rare. Jacob Bellevois is one of the few naval painters who occasionally painted in portrait format.
The yacht is anchored and on the left you can see the rope of a bow anchor. In this form of view, much of the decorative elements on the yacht are still conveyed to the viewer. Thesedecorative elements include the carving on the bowsprit, the red bulwark along the upper plank of the hull, and the rich gold-colored ornamentation at the stern. Clearly visible are also the piece gates of the yacht and at the rear part of the hull of the ship struck by light a cannon tube protrudes.
There are Burgundian flags, which indicate a southern Dutch origin of this yacht. On closer inspection, a man with a red jacket and a larger collar stands out, sitting accordingly in the most distinguished area of the yacht, the aft deck. In the back of the painting, one can distinguish a Dutch flag and another vessel of the opponent.
For stylistic reasons, the painting discussed here can undoubtedly be attributed to the naval painter Jacob Bellevois.
The hand of this Rotterdam artist can be recognized by the fragrant way of painting the elements - especially the water - . The movement of the water is captured purely pictorially in delicate color transitions without a graphic structuring. This also applies to the forms of clouds.
Characteristic is also the conception of the figures with their numerous varied hat brims. These figures are painted fluently and therefore always radiate mobility. Typical is also the design of the flags, whose upper and lower edges Bellevois always designed like stereotypical wave paths and provided with an oblique course of light and shadow tracks. The latter can be seen in particular on the two Dutch flags of the inland waterway vessel. Shortly after this painting was executed, the 80-Year old War between Burgundy and The Netherlands ended. Historically, this is an important artefact.
We are grateful to Dr. Gerlinde de Beer for the attribution and certificate.
Oil on Canvas, 56,5 x 51,5cm