Provenance: Collection Auguste Normand, Le Havre
Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam, 1970
Coach, London, 1974
Private collection Amsterdam
Willem van de Velde the Younger, together with his father Willem van de Velde the Elder, was the most important ship draftsman of the entire 17th century. The drawings they made are invaluable in identifying hundreds of warships, yachts, merchantmen and other ships.
The coat of arms of Prince Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen is affixed to the stern of the yacht. He was the nephew of William of Orange and Stadholder Maurits was his godfather. Johan Maurits was a good statesman, politician and army leader.
He was appointed governor-general in Dutch Brazil in 1636, which he remained until 1643. He is best known for his enlightened rule in the northeastern part of Brazil. In the Netherlands he is mainly known for his commission for the construction of the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
A number of yachts from the directors of the House of Orange-Nassau are known, including those of Prince Maurits, Frederik Hendrik, Willem I and II and the stadtholders of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. 1
From a ship’s point of view they were transoms, with a flat closing of the hull at the rear, otherwise they were nicely round and full, fairly straight in the sides, with a flat bottom and normal keel height, with swords and one mast. The spacious, inseparable pavilion belonging to the interior distinguishes them from other vessels. These yachts were very richly decorated with carvings and gilded lanterns.
This drawing of this richly decorated yacht is masterfully rendered and can be dated to around 1660.
Crone, GCE The yachts of the Oranges. Historical and naval technical overview of the yachts of the stadtholders and princes of the House of Orange-Nassau from the end of the 16th century. Amsterdam: NV Swets, Zeitlinger bookshop and publishers, 1937.
1 Robinson, MS Van de Velde drawings. A Catalog of Drawings in the National Maritime Museum made by the Elder and the Younger Willem van de Velde, 2 vols., Cambridge 1958/ 1974.
Full. 1, p. 261, plate 11, no. 32 A .