Jan van de Cappelle Sea Piece: A Calm 1653


Born 1624
Died 1679
Nationality Dutch

Jan van de Cappelle was one of the foremost Dutch marine painters of his generation, best known for his serene pictures of ships in calm weather. He spent his entire life in Amsterdam, where his father ran a successful dying business. Financially independent, Van de Cappelle was at leisure to devote his time to painting and drawing, as well as yachting and building up a substantial art collection. He married in 1653, inherited his father’s company in 1674 and died a wealthy citizen five years later. Van de Cappelle painted predominantly marine subjects, but also a few winter landscapes. His drawings are relatively rare and we only know two etchings by him. His collection, one of the richest of his time in the Northern Netherlands, comprised of about 200 paintings and some 7,000 drawings. It included no less than 500 drawings under Rembrandt’s name, most likely acquired in 1658, after the latter had filed insolvency and had to sell his entire household and studio contents at auction.