Ships in a Storm on a Rocky Coast

Jan Porcellis1614/1618

Hallwyl Museum

Hallwyl Museum
Stockholm, Sweden

Jan Porcellis was to seascape artists what Esaias van de Velde was to landscape painters – a herald of change. Whereas earlier generations had concentrated on depicting large bodies of water and listing ships Porcelli painted enormous, troubled skies towering above well night helpless ship crews tossed to and fro by angry waves.
This is an outstanding example of Porcellis´ work and exceptionally well preserved. It can be dated to between 1614 and 1618. Such a conclusion is favoured by the sideways elognation of the composition, the dark foreground and the detailed depiction of the different ships. The painting is signed I P on the anchor to the right.


  • Title: Ships in a Storm on a Rocky Coast
  • Creator: Jan Porcellis
  • Creator Lifespan: around 1585 - 1632
  • Creator Nationality: Dutch
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Zoeterwoude
  • Creator Birth Place: Gent
  • Date Created: 1614/1618
  • Tags: Dutch
  • Provenance: Frederik Müller & Cie., Amsterdam, C.U.Palm, Bukowskis, Stockholm, Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, Stockholm1904.
  • Physical Dimensions: w670 x h350 mm (Without frame)
  • Painter: Jan Porcellis
  • Artist info: Jan Porcellis was of Flemish origin. His Protestant family emigrated to the Northern Netherlands soon after his birth and settled in Rotterdam. Porcellis is first mentioned as a painter in Antwerp where he moved in 1615. It is sad he was a pupil of the Dutch marine painter Heddrick C. Vroom in Haarlem. He became a free master in the Antwerp guild of St. Luke in 1617 then moved back north, working in Haarlem (1622) and Amsterdam (1624). In 1626 he was living in Voorburg near The Hague. His last years were spent in Zouterwoude near Leiden.
  • Type: Oil on panel

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