About Jacob Adriaensz. Bellevois
Dutch marine painter
Rotterdam 1620/21 – 1676 Rotterdam
His father, Adriaen, migrated from Ghent in Flanders.
Jacob Bellevois married in 1643 in Rotterdam; the couple had 4 children, but they lost them all. His wife died in 1652. Bellevois remarried in Rotterdam in 1656. The couple was recorded the same year as living in Gouda. They had 2 boys. His second wife died in 1670. Bellevois was in Gouda again in 1671 and he visited Hamburg in 1673–74.
Nothing is known about his training but his monochrome paintings of vessels in a calm sea indicate the influence of Jan Porcellis, the local artist from Rotterdam of great repute, and of his son Julius Porcellis.
His stormy seas are influenced by Simon de Vliegher, who stayed for some time in Rotterdam, but who died already in 1653. Bellevois’ storms date from the 1660s and 1670s. Our painter actually owned twelve paintings by de Vliegher.
There are some 200 paintings known by Bellevois.
About our painting
Bellevois regularly painted ships in danger; one of his favourite subjects are shipwrecks on cliffs. Contemporary viewers of these paintings must well have reflected “upon the soul on its journey through a life fraught with dangers”.
In just a few of these paintings, including in ours, Bellevois used the motif of a man hanging from a rope just under the bowsprit. Bellevois did not invent himself this design: the eldest representation of it, dating from 1629, can be found on a painting by Willem Hermansz. van Diest, which hangs in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Other marine painters from Rotterdam, such as Jan Porcellis (The Hague, Mauritshuis) and Simon de Vliegher (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum) had already borrowed this motif before Bellevois finally also used it.
Even the way Bellevois painted the waves splashing onto the cliff he borrowed from that same painting by de Vliegher. Eymert-Jan Goossens (1994, P. 91) therefore thinks that the Baltimore painting must have been in the collection of Bellevois.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is painted on an oval panel.
Because it holds a motif typical of Rotterdam marine painters: a man hanging from a rope under the bowsprit. Until now only four other paintings by Bellevois were known with this design.