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Portrait of a Dutch navigator [believed to be Willem de Vlamingh]

Date: c 1690
Overall: 841 x 740 x 95 mm, 5.3 kg
Sight: 588 x 484 mm
Display Dimensions: 625 x 500 mm
Medium: Oil paint, canvas
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00019487
Place Manufactured:Nederland

User Terms

    The subject of this 17th century Dutch oil painting is a Dutch navigator depicted standing beside table draped in an elaborate Turkish carpet. The figure is believed to be Willem de Vlamingh, a navigator with the Dutch United East India Company. Various objects and instruments can be seen on the table, including a celestial globe, cross staff, astrolabe, dividers and charts. At left, curtains open to reveal a marine scene.

    This work has been attributed to Jan and Nicholas Verkolje. It is thought that after the death of Jan Verkolje in 1693, his son Nicholas, an apprentice in Jan's office, completed the work.
    SignificanceThis work is emblematic of the Dutch Empire at the height of it powers. It represents one of the foremost VOC navigators and the leader of the last great Dutch expedition to New Holland.
    HistoryWillem de Vlamingh (28 November 1640 - c 1698) joined the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1688, making his first voyage to Batavia (present day Jakarta) in the same year.

    In 1696, he commanded an expedition to search for the RIDDERSCHAP VAN HOLLAND, a VOC ship that disappeared with 325 passengers and crew on its way to Batavia in 1694. VOC officials believed it might have run aground on the west coast of New Holland (Australia) - a relatively common occurance since the Brouwer Route had been made compulsory for all VOC ships in 1617. Although there was no sign of the vessel, de Vlamingh took the opportunity to chart parts of Australia's west coast - an undertaking which helped improve navigation for Dutch ships travelling from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia.

    It was during this voyage that de Vlamingh encountered three islands, becoming one of the first Europeans to set foot on St Paul Island and Rottnest Island, and giving the latter its name.

    On 10 January 1697 his expedition became the first to venture up the Swan River, which was named for the black swans that were observed along the way, and on 4 February they landed at Dirk Hartog Island where they found and replaced the pewter plate left by Hartogh with a new one. The original Hartog plate is preserved in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; de Vlamingh's plate is held by the Western Australian Maritime Museum.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Porträt eines holländischen Seefahrer [wahrscheinlich von Willem de Vlamingh]

    Assigned title: Portret van een Nederlandse navigator [waarschijnlijk van Willem de Vlamingh]

    Web title: Portrait of a Dutch navigator [believed to be Willem de Vlamingh]

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