Willem van de Velde & Son

1 October 2021 until 27 March 2022
Scheepvaart Museum Amsterdam

From 1 October onwards, the National Maritime Museum presents a retrospective exhibition of father and son Willem van de Velde; two leading marine artists from the 17th century with a thriving international family business. Each artist with their own specialism: pen drawings and oil paintings.

The exhibition Willem van de Velde & Son takes you to the maritime world of the Van de Veldes; it takes you past rough sketches, calm seascapes, dramatic storms and impressive naval battles. Make sure not to miss out; for the first time ever, this large collection of works by both artists can be seen side by side.

Get to know the artistic talent and entrepreneurship of the van de Veldes. Father and son ran a flourishing and internationally operating family studio for an impressive period of 70 years. The studio belonged to the absolute higher end of the 17th century marine painting. Willem van de Velde de Oude (the Elder) excelled in pen drawings and Willem van de Velde de Jonge (the Younger) in oil painting. Two recently acquired English tapestries designed by Willem van de Velde de Oude are a true showpiece in the exhibition.

Van de Velde made his sketches on sheets of paper stuck together, which he later worked out as detailed pen drawings in his studio. He took his son Willem out to sea from a very early age to teach him how to observe with a keen eye and to work with a sense of detail.

Learn more about this exhibition.


Catalog – Willem van de Velde & Zoon

The catalogue “Willem van de Velde & Son” will take you to The Northern Netherlands of around 1600, when trade and shipping were flourishing as never before. This activity of ships on the water and in the many ports was a new, inexhaustible source of inspiration for painters who chose the sea as their subject. Among these marine painters were a father and son, both named Willem van de Velde. They worked closely together for fifty years, first from their Amsterdam shop and from 1673 at the court of the English kings Charles II and James II. With their eye for detail and entrepreneurial talent, they became the most prominent marine painters of the seventeenth century.

The painting studio has existed for over seventy years. Their productivity in that period was unprecedented, they made an estimated 2,500 drawings and 800 paintings. Their works of art can now be found in the collections of all major museums in the world. The work of the Van de Veldes symbolizes the heyday of Dutch marine painting. Their departure to England in the winter of 1672 also marked the end of a period in which Dutch marine painters, like the war fleet they depicted throughout their lives, ruled in an artistic sense.


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