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 Ludolf Backhuysen



Backhuysen Ludolf   

Ludolf Bakhuizen (or Backhuysen) (December 28, 1630 November 17, 1708) was a German-born Dutch Golden Age painter who was the leading Dutch painter of maritime subjects after the two Willem van de Veldes (father and son) left for England in 1672.

He was born in Emden, East Frisia, and came to Amsterdam in about 1650, working as a merchant's clerk and a calligrapher. He discovered so strong a genius for painting that he relinquished the business and devoted himself to art from the late 1650s, initially in pen drawings. He studied first under Allart van Everdingen and then under Hendrik Dubbels, two eminent masters of the time, and soon became celebrated for his sea-pieces, which often had rough seas.

He was an ardent student of nature, and frequently exposed himself on the sea in an open boat in order to study the effects of storms. His compositions, which are numerous, are nearly all variations of one subject, the sea, and in a style peculiarly his own, marked by intense realism or faithful imitation of nature. In his later years Bakhuizen employed his skills in etching; he also painted a few examples each of several other genres of painting, such as portraits, landscapes and genre paintings.

During his life Bakhuizen was visited by Cosimo III de' Medici, Peter the Great and also worked for various German princes. In 1699 he opened a gallery on the top floor of the famous Amsterdam townhall. After a visit to England he died in Amsterdam on November 17, 1708.


View from the Mussel Pier in Amsterdam



Battle of Vigo Bay



Portrait by Van der Helst; naval battle in the background by Bakhuizen



Ships in Distress in a Heavy Storm



Ships on the Zuiderzee before the Fort of Naarden



Boats in a Storm



Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast



Small Dutch Vessels



Ships Running Aground in a Storm



Dutch Vessels on the Sea at Amsterdam



View of Amsterdam with Ships on the Ij






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