Provenance: European private collection
The powerful brushwork is exemplary of Eertvelt’s stile furioso, which seems to derive from the work of Agostino Tassi and is said to be crucial for the development of the Flemish seventeenth-century seascape.
Because of their metaphorical meaning, sea storms were a popular phenomenon in visual culture and poetry in the humanist period. A Middle Dutch poem from the late fifteenth century already mentions a ‘sinful ship’ of the soul that had to sail on God’s grace. A similar notion is captured in a poem by Eertvelt’s colleague and contemporary, Bonaventura Peters, which has been preserved in the margin of a drawing:
Like a ship at sea driven by the waves
first high, then low, in doubt where it will sail,
through the raging sea storm, so is the condition
of the people, who are much more prone to evil
then to virtue, whereby they suffer nothing but torment,
like sailors who go to sea for battle
who sometimes take pleasure in a large booty.
but the journey rarely works out in their favor;
The weather is wonderful when you can sail for the wind
as long as one does not find a shoal (which will split the ship).
See: Brochure Andries van Eervelt called Naentkens, Gallery Rob Kattenburg BV 2018