Dulwich Picture Gallery II


Jochem de VRIES

Sneek, c. 1600–Delft, buried 25 January 1670
utch painter of seascapes

Not much is known about Jochem de Vries, who was around 1600 born in the Frisian city Sneek. Where he studied is unknown; in 1628 he is registered as a master in the Guild of St Luke in Delft. In that city he worked until his death. He only seems to have painted seascapes. His paintings are sometimes also credited to Justus de Verwer (c. 1625–89), another painter of marines, who lived in Amsterdam.1

Thieme & Becker 1907–50, xxxiv (1940), p. 578 (as Jochum de Vries); Ecartico, no. 8069: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/8069 (as Jochum Aelbrechtsz. de Vries); RKD, no. 358163: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/358163 (Jochem de Vries; March 17, 2021).

Attributed to Jochem de Vries
DPG472 – Ships on choppy Waters near a Harbour (‘A Light Breeze’)

17th century; oak panel, 40.7 x 69.3 cm

?Bourgeois Bequest, 1811, or a different provenance.

Sparkes 1876, pp. 219–20, no. 378 (Unknown; A Sea-piece); Richter & Sparkes 1880, p. 62, no. 378 (Dutch School; A Light Breeze); Richter & Sparkes 1892, p. 125, no. 378 (not exhibited); Richter & Sparkes 1905, p. 133; Cook 1914, p. 261, no. 472; Cook 1926, p. 242; Cat. 1953, p. 19 (Dutch School); Murray 1980a, p. 303 (Dutch School (?)); Beresford 1998, p. 295 (Dutch School);2 Jonker & Bergvelt 2016, p. 278 (attributed to or after Justus de Verwer or Abraham de Verwer); RKD, no. 286802: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/286802 (attributed to Jochem de Vries; March 17, 2017).

Oak panel consisting of two uneven members with horizontal grain, bevelled on the verso edges. There is an old horizontal break all the way across the panel, and an unstable crack in the bottom left corner. The panel is bowing slightly towards the larger joined crack. On the reverse of the panel there is an undeciphered monogram. The wood grain shows through in the sky, where the paint film is a little thin. The rigging also appears thin and abraded. The varnish has a greyish tint. Previous recorded treatment: 1952–5, Dr Hell.

1) Abraham de Verwer, The Battle on the Zuiderzee, 6 October 1573, signed and dated A.D.Verwer in 1621 fecit, canvas, 153 x 340 cm. RM, Amsterdam, SK-A-603 [1].3
2) Abraham de Verwer, Seascape with Shipping, panel, 25 x 40.6 cm. (British) Government Art Collection, 1487.4
3) Justus de Verwer, Ships at a Quay, panel, 30.5 x 38.5 cm. Private collection, USA (Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague, 1990–92; Sotheby’s, New York, 6 June 1985, lot 71) [2].5
4) Justus de Verwer, Ships on Choppy Water, with a Rowing Boat in the Foreground, monogrammed IDV, panel, 40.8 x 53.6 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Sotheby’s, 18 April 2000, lot 38; Christie’s, 13 Dec. 1996, no. 243; Stockholms Auktionsverk, Stockholm, 3 June 1996, lot 236) [3].6
5) Jochem de Vries, Naval battle, monogrammed IdV, panel, 52.2 x 77 cm. Present whereabouts unknown (Koller, Zürich. 16/21 September 2013, lot 3084) [4].7

Four ships are at, or approaching, harbour in choppy weather. That on the left, called a pinnace, is shown at port broadside, its sails down, tethered to the quay. The ship in the centre, a barge, is shown from astern and bearing to starboard;8 on the port side a sailor is in the rigging. The two ships in the middle ground are seen from forward and port astern respectively. In the left foreground a bucket is floating.

The work is simply painted, and its most significant features are the stylized wave patterns and the seagulls silhouetted against them. It is difficult to establish the artist. In 1997 Fred Meijer considered that it was close to the style of Justus de Verwer; he was probably thinking of pictures like Related works, nos 3 and 4 [2-3]. Beresford, however, thought it too crude to be attributed even to Justus’s studio.9 It should be noted that there are also similarities to the work of his father, Abraham de Verwer (c. 1580/85–1650),10 for instance a marine painting in the (British) Government Art Collection (Related works, no. 2). Recently Laurens Schoemaker attributed the picture to Jochem de Vries, another relatively unknown painter of seascapes, see for instance Related works, no. 5 [4].

The picture has traditionally been considered part of the Bourgeois Bequest, but it is not identifiable in Britton’s 1813 inventory, nor is it mentioned in the catalogues before 1876, so it could well have had a different provenance (several pictures were given or left to Dulwich College during the 19th century).

attributed to Jochem de Vries (active 1628-1670)
Ships on choppy waters near a harbor
panel (oak), oil paint 40,7 x 69,3 cm
Dulwich (London), Dulwich Picture Gallery, inv./cat.nr. DPG472

Abraham de Verwer
Battle on the Zuiderzee, 6 October 1573, dated 1621
canvas, oil paint 153 x 340 cm
Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv./cat.nr. SK-A-603

Justus de Verwer
Ships at a Quay
panel, oil paint 30,5 x 38,5 cm
Private collection

Justus de Verwer
Ships on Choppy Water, with a Rowing Boat in the Foreground
panel, oil paint 40,5 x 53,2 cm
lower left : I D V
Sotheby's (London (England)) 2000-04-18, nr. 38

Jochem de Vries (active 1628-1670)
Naval battle, c. 1640
panel, oil paint 52,2 x 77 cm
lower left : IdV.
Koller (Zürich) 2013-09-16 - 2013-09-21, nr. 3084


1 On Justus de Verwer, who was probably a pupil of his father Abraham (see below, note 10): Bol 1973, p. 174; Van der Willigen & De Kinkelder 1993–8; Van der Veen 2019h; Ecartico, no. 7828: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/7828 (Nov. 20, 2017); RKDartists&, no. 80762: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/80762 (Nov. 20, 2017).

2 ‘DPG472 is close to the style of Justus de Verwer (c. 1626–before 1688), as suggested by F. Meijer (oral communication, 1977 [sic, but 1997]), but seems too crude to be attributed even to his studio.’

3 RKD, no. 286854: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/286854 (Nov. 28, 2017); see also http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.6441 (May 13, 2020) and Bikker, Bruijnen & Wuestman 2007, i, p. 401, no. 310, ii, fig. 310.

4 https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/seascape-with-shipping-29486 (July 4, 2020).

5 RKD, no. 951: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/951 (Nov. 20, 2017).

6 RKD, no. 9541: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/9541 (Nov. 20, 2017).

7 RKD, no. 238365: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/images/238365 (March 17, 2021).

8 ‘Pinnace’ and ‘barge’ are terms suggested in emails from Remmelt Daalder to Ellinoor Bergvelt, 28 March and 9 April 2018 (DPG472 file), for which many thanks.

9 For Meijer and Beresford see above, note 2.

10 Abraham lived in Paris (1637–9) and drew various French harbours and cities, Alsteens & Buijs 2008, pp. 247–56. According to De Kinkelder Abraham started to paint around 1610: Van der Willigen & De Kinkelder 1993–8. Further on Abraham de Verwer: Bol 1973, pp. 84–7; Van der Willigen & De Kinkelder 1993–2012; Giltaij & Kelch 1996, pp. 133–5; Briels 1997, p. 397; Van der Veen 2019g (place of birth unknown); Ecartico, no. 7826: http://www.vondel.humanities.uva.nl/ecartico/persons/7826 (Nov. 20, 2017; as Abraham Joosten de Verwer, alias van Burchstraete); RKDartists&, no. 80760: https://rkd.nl/en/explore/artists/80760 (Nov. 20, 2017).

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