collection
176 cm x 315 cm
S-88

In the 17th century, seascapes evolved into a separate genre. Accounts of naval battles, voyages of discovery, ceremonies at sea and pictures of famous ships were generally of a more documentary nature. However, many seascapes were not literal representations of real life but reveal a broader artistic freedom and inspiration and usually with a hidden symbolism. The Battle of Lepanto by Andries van Eertvelt, who was one of the first seascape painters in the Netherlands, is a good example of this. The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 resulted in the total destruction of the Ottoman navy. Van Eertvelt used the subject to pass on a message to the spectator. The Turkish ship in the foreground on the right is dashed against the rocks and sinks with all on board. The ships sailing under the Dutch flag survive the storm. On one of the ships on the left we read the words Godt sy met ons allen (God be with us all). Although this was a common name for a ship it also points to the deeper meaning of the work, namely, trust in God and you will survive the storms of life.