About the dealer

About the object

Cornelius van der Velde c.1675 – 1729


A ship of the line of the Red Squadron firing a salute among various yachts.


Oil painting on canvas 40 x 50 inches in a fine carved giltwood frame




Cornelius van der Velde was born in London, the son of the incomparable marine painter Willem van der Velde the Younger (1633-1707) who for 35 years was the leading painter of the sea and ships in England. Most of his early career was spent in the studio of his father (and grandfather Willem the elder) where he worked as an assistant, along with other painters of Dutch nationality such as Jan van der Hagen and (probably) Adriaen van Diest and Jacob Knyff. This immensely successful and productive studio hald a virtual monopoly over marine painting for several decades at the end of the 17th and the start of the 18th century.


Cornelius married the daughter of Jan van der Hagen in the Knighsbridge chapel in 1699, and remained working in the Greenwich studio until his father's death in 1707. Thereafter he worked independently as a marine artist, enjoying a contemporary reputation as 'the best of all marine painters' whch J.C.Wyerman could name.


Despite this reputation and his long training under the best master, Cornelius van der Velde had become virtually unknown by the late 20th century. His reputation was recovered by the acquisition in 1965 by the National Maritime Museum of a signed storm piece, since when a small group of signed paintings have come to light. The present painting is a new addition to his signed oeuvre, which still amounts to no more than ten signed pictures, though a number of other are sfely attributable to him. He was developing his own distinctive style and compositions by at least 1703, when he signed and dated An Admiralty yacht approaching an English Squadron of the Red which was with Lane Fine Art in 1997.


He was certianly held in considerable regard by his contemporaries, who appointed him in 1717 to report on the progress of Sir James Thornhill's work the painted hall at Greenwich