This is a good example of early Dutch marine painting, dating circa 1610/1620, attributed to Aert Anthonisz.: a ship flying the flag from Hoorn is swiftly sailing over a beautifully stylised green sea.
Anthonisz. was one of those early Dutch marine specialists of Flemish origin who, at a young age, had fled with his parents from Flanders for religious reasons.
Until 1973 Aert Anthonisz. was known as Aert van Antum, because his signature had been misread.
About Aert Anthonisz.
Dutch painter of Flemish origin
Antwerp 1579/80 – 1620 Amsterdam
Aert Anthonisz., in full Anthoniszoon, is also known as Aert Anthonissen. During the major part of the 20th century he was known as Aert van Antum, because one of his rare signatures was misinterpreted.
Anthonisz. was probably a pupil of Hendrick Cornelisz. Vroom (Haarlem 1562/63 – 1640 Haarlem) in Haarlem.
He was the father of the marine painter Hendrick van Anthonissen (Amsterdam 1605 – 1656 Amsterdam), who in his turn was a brother-in-law of Jan Porcellis (1584 – 1632). Anthonissen studied under both his father and his brother-in-law.
Aert was the grandfather of the marine painter Arnoldus van Anthonissen
(1631/32 – 1703).
Aert Anthonisz. lived at least since 1591 in Amsterdam. His Protestant parents must have fled from Flanders to Holland for religious reasons.
In 1603 he married in Amsterdam a woman who was also of Flemish origin.
In 1604 he bought the citizenship of Amsterdam, where he remained until his death in 1620.
About our painting
Our painting is an interesting example of the very start of Dutch marine painting in the first quarter of the 17th century (circa 1610/1620).
Four ships are sailing in stormy conditions on a green sea under a dark sky. The ship in the centre and the ship at right fly flags:
- the centre one flies the flag of Hoorn (red – white – red);
- the right one flies two flags with red and white horizontal bands. These flags do not refer to any specific town. They regularly appear on both Dutch and English ships.
The sea with is characteristic green colour is typical of the start of Dutch marine painting. Not only did painters in Haarlem use it (Hendrick Cornelisz. Vroom, Hans Savery I, Cornelis Claesz. van Wieringen and Cornelis Verbeeck in his early works), but also in Amsterdam (Abraham de Verwer, who had moved from Haarlem, and our Aert Anthonisz.) or Utrecht (Adam Willaerts). I should also mention the early paintings by Jan Porcellis who was active in lot of very different towns in Holland, Flanders and even in London.
In our painting Aert Anthonisz. clearly shows the influence of his master, Hendrick Vroom, especially in the treatment of the foam of the breaking waves.
As almost none of his paintings are signed or monogrammed it is very complicated to define the style of Aert Anthonisz.. Three paintings, to which our panel painting relates, used to be attributed to yet another early Haarlem marine painter of Flemish origin, Hans Savery I, but they are now given to Aert Anthonisz..
About Hans Savery I
Dutch painter of Flemish origin
Courtrai circa 1564 – 1622/1625 place unknown
Elder brother of Jacob (1566 – 1603) and of Roelant (Courtrai 1576 – 1639 Utrecht), uncle of Hans II (Haarlem circa 1589 – 1654 Utrecht).
Hans’ Protestant parents (Maerten Savery and Catelina vander Beecke) fled from Courtrai in 1580 to Bruges. They soon left Flanders for religeous reasons for Holland and finally settled in Haarlem in 1585.
Hans’ mother died there the year after their arrival in 1586 and his father re-married with a woman of Flemish origin the following year in 1587. His father died in 1602.
Savery married twice in a short lapse of time in Haarlem: in 1585 and in 1586.
Hans settled as a painter in Haarlem, Jacob in Amsterdam. Roelant, who was to be the best-known painter of the family, studied painting with his brother Jacob in Amsterdam. When Jacob Savery died of the plague in 1603, his eldest son of seven children, Hans II, then fourteen years old, was taken in by his uncle, Roelant.
After his brothers’ death Roelant Savery continued Jacob’s workshop in Amsterdam, but one year later he was invited to Prague by agents of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Roelant and Hans II stayed in Prague until 1615. At their return to Holland they first settled for three years in Amsterdam, but in 1618 finally moved to Utrecht.
Hans Savery the Elder is the link between the maritime subjects of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and the start of Dutch marine painting in Harlem in the early 1600s.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is good and decorative example of the very start of Dutch marine painting, dating circa 1610/1620.