Fishing Boats off the Coast in a Choppy Sea

Abraham van Beyeren, 1620/1621 - 1690

Fishing Boats off the Coast in a Choppy Sea

Abraham van Beyeren 1620/1621 - 1690


A fleet of barges jostles for space in a choppy, foaming sea. On the bank, left, is a windmill, implying that life ashore is as industrious as it is on the water. A vast sky of towering cumuli, dominated by an ominous, iron-grey cloud in the upper left, occupies most of the canvas. Waves such as those in the foreground, brightly illuminated by an unseen break in the clouds, are a characteristic device of the painter's. Van Beyeren was born in Leiden in 1621 and became a pupil of his uncle, Pieter de Putter, who is known for his still life paintings of fish. Loan records indicate that he spent much of his life in straitened circumstances and some of his loans were paid off with paintings. He was a member of the guilds in Delft, The Hague and Alkmaar, north of Amsterdam, between 1657 and 1674. The contents of his house were sold on 15 March 1690, which probably implies that he died in that year. Although Van Beyeren is best known as a painter of elaborate pronck still-life subjects, his early work mainly consisted of marine, river and lake scenes - perhaps, to judge from his grey and brown palette, influenced by Simon de Vlieger and Jan van Goyen.

Object Name

Fishing Boats off the Coast in a Choppy Sea

Creators Name

Abraham van Beyeren


unframed: 42.8cm x 56.2cm
framed: 63.2cm x 76.5cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Bequeathed by Mr and Mrs Assheton-Bennett.


© Manchester Art Gallery

Fill out my online form.