The harbour of Amsterdam is buzzing with activity and is seen from the west. The principal vessels from left to right are a flute, a buyer, a ‘kat’ and a man-of war.
In the background the eastern part of Amsterdam is depicted. We see the Oosterkerk de on the left and the ropery on the island Oostenburg (the front part is still in existence and presently the Werkspoor Museum). As we gaze westward there is the artificial island of Kattenburg were the naval yards of the Admiralty of Amsterdam were located. There were seven slipways, an additional row of workshops, a large smithy and another large warehouse for shipbuilding materials. In the water facing the yard a dock was palisaded off, where the hulls of the ships were finished after launching and where ships out of commission were repaired and taid up. In the days of the Republic 284 ships were built on the yard, 148 during the Batavian and French period (1795-1813) and after that until the closure of the yard in 1915, a total of 569 ships.
‘T Oostindische Zeemagazijn’ to the right was the warehouse from which the ships could be provisioned. Alongside this warehouse was the ‘Scheeps-Timmer-Werf’ (Dutch East India Company wharf). A shipyard with several slipways and a large gatehouse, the “Poortgebouw”, holding workshops and living quarters. The ‘Zeemagazijn’ and the ‘Poortgebouw’, which both still exist today, were designed by the Amsterdam architect Daniel Stalpaert (1615-1676), who also built the town hall of Amsterdam, today the Royal Palace on the Dam. The 188 m2 ‘Zeemagazijn’ was built between 1662 and 1664 and since then has been the symbol of Amsterdam’s maritime power.
Abraham Storck was one of the most important maritime painters of the last quarter of the seventeenth century.