From across the sea, an art revolution is coming. Discover the art of the Van de Veldes at the Queen's House
In the winter of 1672-73, two celebrated Dutch artists arrived in London.
Willem van de Velde the Elder was renowned for his highly accurate drawings of ships and maritime life. He would even go to sea himself, paper in hand, to capture naval battles as they were raging.
His son, Willem van de Velde the Younger, was a famed painter. From calm coastal scenes to fierce storms, his work captured the many moods of the ocean.
King Charles II offered them a studio space at the Queen's House in Greenwich. Here they worked, creating royal commissions, magnificent paintings and tapestries, as well as thousands of detailed sketches, drawings and designs.
Now, 350 years on from their first arrival in England, the Queen's House will once again become a home for the Van de Veldes.
The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea follows the journey of these émigré artists, and explores how they changed the course of British maritime art.
Set sail for Greenwich, and experience the art of the Van de Veldes.
Who were the Van de Veldes?
The Van de Veldes were two of the most sought-after marine artists in 17th century Europe.
They were contemporaries of Rembrandt in the Dutch Republic, but were invited to live and work in England following the restoration of the monarchy.
The pair were given a studio in the Queen’s House in Greenwich and a salary of £100 a year each to create drawings and paintings of 'Sea Fights'. Yet their contribution to English art stretched far beyond the war and politics of the day.
The Van de Veldes are considered the founders of English marine painting, inspiring generations of artists including J.M.W. Turner. The National Maritime Museum has the largest collection of works by the Van de Veldes in the world.
"The Van de Velde collection at Greenwich is remarkable not only for its sheer size but for what it reveals about how a 17th-century artist’s studio functioned," says Dr Allison Goudie, Curator of Art. "This exhibition celebrates this extraordinary aspect of the Van de Velde collection here, and the unique connection it now has with the Queen’s House, the location of the Van de Veldes’ studio for over 20 years."