Sea-scape with a crowded beach

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Ludolf Backhuysen
Pencil, Brown ink, Grey ink
17.6 x 29.2 cm

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The drawing depicts a crowded beach with various ships in the background amongst a Dutch three master. Part of a harbor can be seen on the left.

Ludolf Backhuysen, whose name appears in the literature in a number of different forms (for example, Bakhuysen, Backhuisen, and Bakhuizen), was born in the German town of Emden on December 18, 1631. He was the son of a scribe, Gerhard Backhaus, and initially followed in his father’s footsteps, working as a clerk in the government offices at Emden. After the family moved to Amsterdam in 1649, he held a similar post with the firm of the wealthy merchant Guilielmo Bartolotti van den Heuvel, a fellow native of Emden.

Despite his late start as a professional painter, Backhuysen rapidly gained widespread fame and patronage. He became the unchallenged leading seascape painter of the Netherlands after Willem van de Velde the Elder (Dutch, 1611 - 1693) and his son Willem van de Velde the Younger (Dutch, 1633 - 1707) immigrated to England in late 1672 or early 1673.


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