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Willem van de Velde the Younger


Dutch, Baroque Painter of the Golden Age

Stylistically influenced by the following painters - Frans Hals, Willem van de Velde I and  Jan Havickszoon Steen

Education - apprenticed to Allart van Everdingen and was a studio assistant to  Hendrik Dubbels

Cause of Death - Fever

Willem van de Velde the Younger Bio

Willem van de Velde the Younger was born into a family of painters, engravers and musicians. His father, Willem van de Velde I,  was an accomplished painter and inspired composer. Young Willem was encouraged to go down to the docks and sketch the harbor ships. His studies of various seagoing vessels, created a foundation for all his later artistic accomplishments. He sketched with breathtaking talent even at a very young age.  His father and uncles loved the sea and often rented a small boat for leisurely days of fishing and sketching around the local harbor.

 While still in his 20s Willem van de Velde the Younger found great financial and critical success as a painter. Many of his greatest works were acquired by English nobility and the wealthy merchant class. Prosperous ship captains often commissioned portraits of their favorite ships. According to Art Historian S. Spooner  "Like his father, the younger Van de Velde designed everything from nature, and his compositions are distinguished by a more elegant and tasteful arrangement of his objects, than is to be found in the productions of any other painter of marines. His vessels are designed with the greatest accuracy, and from the improvements which had been made in ship-building, they are of a more graceful and pleasing form than those of his predecessors; the cordage and rigging are finished with a delicacy, and at the same time with a freedom almost without example; his small figures are drawn with remarkable correctness, and touched with the greatest spirit. In his calms the sky is sunny, and brilliant, and every object is reflected in the glassy smoothness of the water, with a luminous transparency peculiar to himself. In his fresh breezes and squalls, the swell and curl of the waves is delineated with a truth and fidelity which could only be derived from the most attentive and accurate study of nature; in his storms, tempests, and hurricanes, the tremendous conflict of the elements and the horrors of shipwreck are represented with a truthfulness that strikes the beholder with terror.. "

Important Words, People and Principal Phrases, Characteristics Related to the Northern Renaissance Art Movement -  allegorical painting,  rebirth, invention of oil painting,   Hieronymus Bosch, Limbourg Brothers, Desiderius Erasmus,  Robert Campin, Jan Van Eyck, Jean Fouquet, Albrecht Dürer, Johannes Gutenberg, Johann Reuchlin, Martin Luther, rise of the merchant class, world landscape,  Low Countries, Protestant Reformation, Calvinisim, glazing, impasto, scriptorium, illuminator, invention of the printing press, woodcuts, engravings, Antwerp School, Guild of Saint Luke, commerce, Flemish School, Northern Europe,  Flanders, Bruges, renewed interest in classical learning,  mythological scenes, genre painting, landscapes, portraits, moralizing overtones, human vices, lust, paradise, spirituality, piousness, living a simple life, reformHuman Reasoning,  tradesmen at work, idyllic scenes of peasantsplaying games, feasting,  linear perspective, \Heliocentric Theory, humour, satire,  spiritually significant, illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  iconoclast, Age of Discovery, Virgin and Child, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world,  realistic use of colours and lightOld Testament stories, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath,  Christian symbolism


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References: Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) Author: S. Spooner