Willem van de Velde the Younger
Portrait of Van de Velde in 1672 by Lodewijk van der Helst
Born(1633-12-18)18 December 1633 (baptised)
Died6 April 1707(1707-04-06) (aged 73)
Known forMarine painting

Willem van de Velde the Younger (18 December 1633 (baptised) – 6 April 1707) was a Dutch marine painter, the son of Willem van de Velde the Elder, who also specialised in maritime art. His brother, Adriaen van de Velde, was a landscape painter.


Willem van de Velde was baptised on 18 December 1633 in Leiden, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was instructed by his father, and around 1650 by Simon de Vlieger, a marine painter of repute at the time, who worked around Weesp. He was also influenced by the work of the Dutch artist Jan van de Cappelle, who excelled at painting cloudy skies, the clouds often being reflected in the calm waters.

Willem was married twice, in 1652 with Petronella Le Maire coming from Weesp, but divorced.[1] At that time he lived at Buitenkant and likely with a view on the harbour and the Amsterdam Admiralty; from 1655 one of his neighbors was Michiel de Ruyter.[2] In 1656 he married Magdalena Walravens, the daughter of a skipper.[3] The couple had four children and the last one was baptized at Zuiderkerk in 1674.[4] He achieved great celebrity by his art before he came to London.[5]

Portrait of Van de Velde in his studio by Michiel van Musscher

The younger Van de Velde collaborated with his father, an experienced draughtsman, who prepared studies of the battles, events and seascapes in black and white (ink paintings), while the son used oil paints. Father and son were driven from the Netherlands by the political and economic conditions which resulted from war with the French, and moved to England.[6] Here they were engaged by Charles II, both at a salary of £100, the Younger to aid his father in "taking and making draughts of sea-fights", his part of the work being to reproduce in color the drawings of the elder Van de Velde. He was also patronized by the Duke of York and by various members of the nobility.[5]

He died on 6 April 1707 in Westminster, England,[5] and was buried at St James's Church, Piccadilly. A memorial to him and his father lies within the church.


Most of Van de Velde's finest works represent views off the coast of Holland, with Dutch shipping. His best productions are delicate, spirited and finished in handling, and correct in the drawing of the vessels and their rigging. The numerous figures are tellingly introduced, and the artist is successful in his renderings of sea, whether in calm or storm.[5] The ships are portrayed with almost photographic accuracy, and are the most precise guides available to the appearance of 17th-century ships.

Substantial collections of Van de Velde's paintings and drawings are held in the National Gallery,[7] National Maritime Museum[8] and the Wallace Collection,[9] all in London; the Rijksmuseum[10] in Amsterdam; and the National Gallery of Art[11] in Washington DC.


  1. ^ W. Liedtke () Dutch paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. II, p. 862
  2. ^ Ondertrouwregister, archiefnummer 5001, inventarisnummer 469, blad p. 512
  3. ^ Ondertrouwregister, archiefnummer 5001, inventarisnummer 476, blad p.518
  4. ^ DTB Dopen, archiefnummer 5001, inventarisnummer 96, blad p.139, aktenummer DTB 96
  5. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  6. ^ Bisanz-Prakken, Marian; van Rijn, Rembrandt Harmenszoon (2005). Rembrandt and His Time: Masterworks from the Albertina, Vienna. Hudson Hills. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-55595-257-0.
  7. ^ "Willem van de Velde (1633 - 1707)". National Gallery. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Artist profile: Willem van de Velde (Elder and Younger)". Royal Museums Greenwich. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Wallace Collection Online - van de Velde the Younger Willem van de Velde the Younger". wallacelive.wallacecollection.org. Wallace Collection. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Search in Rijksstudio, Name: Willem van de Velde (II)". Rijksmuseum. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Willem van de Velde the Younger". National Gallery of Art. Retrieved 14 May 2020.