About Hendrik Dubbels
Amsterdam 1621 – 1707 Amsterdam
Important painter of maritime subjects and also of winter landscapes.
There is very little information known about the painter.
He was the son of a diamant cutter.
Between 1663 and 1665 he seems to have run a shop of hats and stockings.
He died at the age of 86.
The study of the evolution of his artistic production can only be made stylistically, because of the lack of dated works. There is only one dated painting by Dubbels known: the representation of a warship, the Maarsseveen, from 1654.
It is not known whom he studied under, but his small, early works clearly show the influence of tonal painting, thus of someone like Jan Porcellis.
Between 1651 and 1653 he fell under the influence of Simon de Vliegher. It is thought that Dubbels was active in the workshop of de Vliegher; here he met and came also under influence of three other major painters: Willem van de Velde the Elder and the Younger, and Jan van de Capelle.
During this period he mainly painted calm seas (such as our painting) and so-called marine parades.
After de Vliegher’s death in 1653 until circa 1660 Dubbels must have worked independently, searching for motifs and developing his own repertoire. During this period he also painted winter scenes inspired by the moonlit and wintry landscapes of Aert van der Neer. He worked on two occasions together with Johannes Lingelbach (who painted the figure staffage). Ludolf Backhuysen and possibly Jan Theunisz. Blankerhof were active in Dubbels’ workshop.
Following his short but unsuccessful intermezzo as shop owner (1663 – 1665) he returned of course to painting, but apparently no longer with an own, independent workshop. Dubbels seems to have been active in different workshops: with the van de Veldes until their move to London in 1672/73 and possibly already with his former student, Backhuysen, whom he certainly worked for at a later stage.
During this late period, 1666 until his death in 1707, our painter was strongly influenced by other leading marine painters, especially by Ludolf Backhuysen.
About our painting
Our painting must date from the period that Dubbels was active in the workshop of Simon de Vliegher (1651 – 1653). Typical for that period are the warm ochre tonalities. The mussel picker is also a favourite motif of de Vliegher.
Ulrike Middendorf states about our painting in her monograph on Dubbels (1989, P. 103, Nr. 22) that it is influenced by similar works painted by de Vliegher around 1650. Based on its qualities and on similarities with other paintings by Dubbels (Nr. 23, 24 and 128) she thinks our work should be attributed to Dubbels and not to de Vliegher. Middendorf dates our painting circa 1650 – 1653.
Dubbels’ beach scenes were intended as descriptions of the beauty of nature and of a general atmosphere, rather than as portraits of a specific ships or of maritime events. That is why the sunlight and the figure staffage plays such an important role in creating that poetic feeling.
The fake signature refers to Aelbert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620 – 1691 Dordrecht), who painted similar calm waters.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is a classic of 17th century Dutch painting: air, water and light are combined in a beautiful composition that emits the peaceful rest of a Sunday afternoon.