In the middle two flutes, on the right a merchant ship or VOC return ship, on the far right an Admiral ship. Several yachts in the foreground. In the background we see from left to right the Oosterkerk, the building of the admiralty and the shipyard, the Oude Kerk, the Nieuwekerk and the Westerkerk. The painting was probably commissioned to celebrate the friendship between the Dutch Republic and England. The Dutch tricoleur fluttering on an English ship in front of the busy port of Amsterdam.
The painter Cornelis van de Velde was one of the two sons of Willem van de Velde II. He was taught by his father and, after his grandfather’s death, was probably the most capable assistant in his father’s busy studio. On August 18, 1699, in Knightsbridge, he had married Bernarda van der Hagen, sister of the marine painter Joris Cornelisz. Van der Hagen who also worked in Van de Velde’s studio. Working in his father’s studio, he was one of his best, continuing to work in London until 1714.
cf. The Paintings of the Van de Velde . Paintings Vol. 2. pp. 607-609, no. 321 – 52, signed WV Velde J 1694 and no. 52, p.649, WV Velde Ao 1703, C. vdvf, Corn. W. vd Velde.