Rotterdam 1627 – 1686

Ships on a turbulent sea

Oil on canvas, 59.3 x 79.3 cm

Signed on driftwood lr: VERSCHUIR


France, private collection


It is generally assumed that Lieve Pietersz. Verschuier was born in Rotterdam, but we meet him for the first time in a document dated 13 March 1652, which shows that he was living in Amsterdam at the time. It is not known whether he was apprenticed to a painter there. In 1653 Verschuier was back in Rotterdam, where he made his will prematurely, ‘beelsnijder being sickly’. According to Houbraken (1721), the artist’s biographer, he must have gone to Rome after 1653. His stay in the Eternal City was short-lived and in 1656 he returned to Rotterdam. In 1674 Lieve was appointed sculptor at the Rijkswerf and even rose to ‘chieftain’ of the St. Lucasgilde. In 1698, Spaan described him as an excellent painter of dawn scenes, shipping and water, as well as a good sculptor. The painter and sculptor was buried on 17 December 1686 in the French Church in Rotterdam.


Unfortunately, nothing has survived of the beautiful sculpture that Lieve must have made for the Rotterdam Admiralty. About seventy-five of his paintings are known. The most striking are scenes of ships at dusk with poetic clouds and cloud formations, and beautiful sunsets reminiscent of the work of Claude Lorrain (Champagne 1600- Rome 1682). Lieve Verschuier probably saw paintings by this famous master when he was in Rome.


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