Boats on the River Waal
Amsterdam, the 1650s
Oil on canvas
This landscape shows a ferry, as well as fishing and trading vessels, on the choppy waters of the River Waal in southern Holland. The church tower of Gorinchem is to the left, with Loevestein Castle on the opposite bank.
The location, however, is less important than the contrasting play of light and shadow on water, land and vessels. The low horizon and the upright format give prominence to a lively cloudscape. Van de Cappelle specialised in marine subjects, often of boats becalmed. Like many Dutch painters he had another trade, working as a merchant.
Purchased 1943 (No.43.1)