A French flagship amidst a convoy of Dutch merchant vessels
Oil on panel, 83.1 x 125.7 cm
Provenance: United Kingdom, private collection
Van Anthonissen is best known as a third-generation marine painter, son of Hendrick van Anthonissen (1605-1656) and grandson of Aert Anthonissen (circa 1580- 1620), whose roots were in Flanders. Arnoldus not only works as a fine painter, he also wields “the big brush. In the Leiden St. Lucas guild he is even dean (the highest authority figure) of the “coarse or draft painters. In Zierikzee, he also leaves his mark on the St. Luke’s guild. There he painted his marines, maps, coats of arms and the interior of the ship named Tholen. He must also have traded in art there. At the same time he is a member of the Middelburg St. Lucas guild for a number of years. He registered there as a fine painter and “merbe- laer” (marble imitation painter). Van Anthonissen must have frequently switched from his broad palette of skills, making him a true seventeenth-century artist, a cultural entrepreneur pur sang.