The Storm

  • Ludolf Backhuysen, The Storm, n.d., oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of George W. Story, 1923.8.6

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A rich but risky trade on the high seas brought a golden age to Holland in the seventeenth century. This painting shows the hazards that awaited Dutch ships, which ventured as far as Southeast Asia. A vessel has foundered on a rocky coast, its crew hanging from the rigging and bobbing in the surf. On the beach, salvagers have already begun to make away with the casks and bales that have washed ashore, even as the seamen plead for help. Ludolf Backhuysen learned his craft from two prominent marine painters in Amsterdam, and he soon established himself as the leading marine painter in Holland. Seventeenth-century Dutch paintings were popular in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Wealthy patrons purchased such paintings with the intention of donating them to national museums, which they hoped would one day rival those of Europe.

The Storm
sight 26 x 37 in. (66.0 x 94.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of George W. Story

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Architecture Exterior – ruins
  • Figure group
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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