Art/ Collection/ Art Object

A State Yacht and Other Craft in Calm Water

Jan van de Cappelle (Dutch, Amsterdam 1626–1679 Amsterdam)
ca. 1660
Oil on wood
27 1/2 x 36 3/8 in. (69.9 x 92.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Francis L. Leland Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
Not on view
Van de Cappelle was one of the most celebrated marine painters of Amsterdam, where his income from property and his father’s dyeworks gave him a comfortable living; he collected hundreds of paintings and drawings by artists such as Jan van Goyen, Simon de Vlieger, and Rembrandt. The image of great and small ships at rest on calm waters spoke volumes to the Dutch at this time—of peace and prosperity after years of war, and of things far greater than themselves.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Cappelle
Henry Labouchere, Lord Taunton, Taunton, Somerset (until d. 1869); ?his eldest daughter, Mary Dorothy Labouchere, later Mrs. Edward James Stanley (1869–about 1907?); Major E. Hugh Griffith, London (in 1910); [R. Langton Douglas, London, possibly with Colnaghi, London, until 1912; sold to MMA]
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," January 3–March 12, 1910, no. 73 (as "The Mouth of the Scheldt," lent by Major E. H. Griffith).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 26.

Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Portraits, Figures and Landscapes," January 12–February 4, 1951, no. 6.

Paris. Petit Palais. "Trois millénaires d'art et de marine," March 4–May 2, 1965, no. 59.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Recent Accessions and Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (April 1912), p. 76, ill. p. 79, as "The Mouth of the Scheldt," formerly in the Labouchere and Griffith collections.

Bryson Burroughs. Catalogue of Paintings. 1st ed. New York, 1914, p. 37, as signed "J V Cappel—(le?)".

C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. Ed. Edward G. Hawke. Vol. 7, London, 1923, p. 170, no. 45.

W. R. Valentiner. "Jan van de Cappelle." Art Quarterly 4 (1941), pp. 281–82, fig. 8, compares it with a closely related composition by Simon de Vlieger (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 16, as signed and, erroneously, dated "[16]7[1]?".

Claus Virch. Letter to Wolfgang Stechow. August 6, 1962, observes that under a microscope and raking light, Cappelle's signature is visible but there appears to be no trace of a date; suggests that there never was a date.

Margarita Russell. Jan van de Cappelle, 1624/6–1679. Leigh-on-Sea, 1975, pp. 27, 67, 89, no. 45, fig. 18, calls it compositionally close to but a weak echo of a picture in the National Gallery, London; states that it is "signed lower right: J V Cappelle 167(1 or 5)," and records another version known only from a photo in the Frick Art Reference Library.

Denys Sutton. "Robert Langton Douglas, Part III, XIV: Agent for the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 109 (June 1979), p. 423, fig. 19.

Denys Sutton. "Robert Langton Douglas, Part II, XIII: A Lawyer from Philadelphia." Apollo 109 (May 1979), p. 393.

Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 191.

Jan Kelch in Praise of Ships and the Sea: The Dutch Marine Painters of the 17th Century. Exh. cat., Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Rotterdam, 1996, p. 300 n. 3, under no. 65 [German ed., 1996], as "probably not authentic".

Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. 120–23, no. 26, colorpl. 26, as an authentic work of about 1660.

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