a squadron of dutch warships leaving harbour c1650 attributed to jan peeters

A Squadron of Dutch Warships leaving Harbour c.1650; Attributed to Jan Peeters.



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Oil on oak panel in finely carved giltwood frame.
The artist captures the beauty of these heavily gunned ships of the line as they sail with the shore wind, their sterns carved with the elaborate gilt 'gingerbreading' fashionable in the 17th century.
Large warships were the most powerful weapon on earth, with the fire power of an artillery regiment.
During the 17th century the Dutch Republic was involved in a number of wars, many of them at sea. The main goal of the Dutch navy was to protect shipping lanes all over the world and, if need be, to repel a naval invasion of Dutch territory; the Dutch fleet was the largest of the world at the time and was a formidable force.
JAN (orJohannes) PEETERS I (24 April 1624 1677) was a Flemish Baroque painter who specialized in seascapes and shipwrecks, known as Zeekens (small seascapes).
Peeters was born and died in Antwerp. He was taught to paint by his brothers Gillis Peeters (16121653) and Bonaventura Peeters (16141652). He became a master of Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1645, and like his brother Bonaventura, he specialized in dramatic scenes with dark billowy clouds.
In 1654 he married Catherine Buseliers. In 1659 he spent several months touring the Netherlands. He had two children, Jan Frans and Isabella.
This painting belonged to SIR PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR, DSO, OBE (1915-2011) until his death aged 96.
Paddy, as he was always known,was a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan Resistance during World War II.
He was widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer", with books including his classic 'A Time of Gifts' (1977). A BBC journalist once described him as "a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene."
During the German occupation, he returned to Crete three times, once by parachute. He was one of a small number of Special Operations Executive (SOE) officers posted to organise the island's resistance to German occupation. Disguised as a shepherd and nicknamed Michalis or Filedem, he lived for over two years in the mountains. With Captain Bill Stanley Moss as his second in command, Leigh Fermor led the party that in 1944 captured and evacuated the German Commander, General Heinrich Kreipe. The Cretans commemorate Kreipe's abduction near Archanes.
Moss featured the events in his book 'Ill Met by Moonlight: The Abduction of General Kreipe' (1950). It was later adapted as a film by the same name, directed/produced by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and released in 1957. In the film, Leigh Fermor was portrayed by Dirk Bogarde.
Leigh Fermor's funeral took place at St Peter's Church, Dumbleton, on 16 June 2011. A Guard of Honour was provided by serving and former members of the Intelligence Corps, and a bugler from the Irish Guards sounded the Last Post and Reveille. Leigh Fermor is buried next to his wife in the churchyard at Dumbleton.
SIZE: 25 x 42.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Collection of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor DSO, OBE.
Internal Ref: 8687

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