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The Rugendas Letters:
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Willem van de Velde II, Marine

Velde II, Willem van de (Leiden 1633 – London 1707). Marine. In front at the shallow mud shore several boats, partly under sails, together with figurines. On the right quay, in the background place. On the left in middle distance fleet at anchor. Etching by Remi-Henri-Joseph Delvaux (Lille 1748/50 – Paris 1823). (1771.) Inscribed: 31 / Guil. V. Velde pinx. / Du Cabinet de Mr. le Duc de Choiseul / De la grandeur de 18 pouces sur 13½ together with Choiseul’s coat of arms. 5¾ × 6⅝ in (14.6 × 16.8 cm).

“ (Willem van de Velde the Younger) combines an outstanding skill as draughtsman with the tone and light painting of his teacher (Simon de Vlieger) … Essential is his art of the composition of the picture, exactly observing time of day, atmosphere, clouds, wind and waves, position of sails and the ships in the water. Actually the sea just is the frame for the seamanly detailed representation of the ship up to the last detail of the rigging which reveal a fundamental knowledge of shipbuilding … His special preference was the slightly agitated sea:

At  ebb-tide  shallow  mud  flats  appear  in  the  foreground ,

in evening light the sailboats ride at anchor on the reflecting surface of the water, fishing boats bring their catch to the shore ”

(Bernt, Die niederländischen Maler des 17. Jhdts. III).

“ Delvaux … pupil of Noël Lemire … participated in numerous ills. of Parisian publications: i. a. ‘Cabinet Choiseul’ (e.g. Marine after G. Van de Velde), 1771 … ”

(Catrin Ritter, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon XXV, 2000, 569).

Étienne François Choiseul (1719-1785) first became ambassador in Rome and Vienna by the protection of Madame de Pompadour in 1753 after a military career, and in 1758 – during the Seven Years’ War – was appointed first Secretary of State, three years later of War, and finally in 1763 Naval Secretary. In the course of Madame du Barry’s rise in 1770 then followed his banishment to his estate at Chanteloup from where Louis XVI allowed him to return to Paris in 1774, though not restoring him in his former positions. Open-furthering the publication of Diderot-d’Alembert’s Encyclopedia Choiseul gathered an important collection of French views:

“ Le duc avait formé une très importante collection de vues de France, comportant beaucoup de pièces rares, et toutes en belles epreuves ”

(Lugt 2948). Passing away highly indebted – Walpole writes he had dissipated both the nation’s and his own wealth without repairing the latter by plundering the former, however – he left it to his widow to satisfy the creditors most scrupulously.

Very  fine  light-flooded  sujet . – On buff laid paper wide-margined on the sides and below.

Offer no. 28,828 / EUR  248. (c. US$ 270.) + shipping