Category Archives: Working boats

An answer to my question: has Scheveningen got the most painted shore in the world?

Charles II departs from Scheveningen

Chris Sonnemans has been in touch to answer the question I asked on the 4th October 2013: has Scheveningen got the most painted shore in the world?

Chris’s answer is that it has – since 2009, he has been searching the internet for pictures of the coast of Scheveningen for his website,

His online survey has revealed that over 500 artists visited Scheveningen to create oilpaintings, drawings, etches, water-colours and other artworks since 1600. He has found some 3255 pictures by artists from the Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, United States of America, Germany, Russia, Poland, Switzerland and other countries, and observes that there must be more in private collections around the world.

A significant number depict the events of one day. Following the exile of the Stuart Royal Family, King Charles II departed from the shore of Scheveningen for England on June 2, 1660. Ten artists made 50 paintings, drawings, etches and medals of that one day, and a crowd of 50,000 people gathered in the dunes and on the beach to see him leave.

It’s quite something to think of so many images being created of one event on one day in the 17th century. See some of them on Chris’s website, along with  more material on Charles II. It’s in Dutch, but Chris hopes Google Translate will help English readers understand the text.

In the 19th century the British painter Edward William Cooke (1811-1880) visited Scheveningen many times between from 1837 and 1860, and in Chris’s judgement he painted the fishing boats on the sands better than anyone else.

Here’s what Chris has to say about some other artists:

‘From December 1881 until September 1883 Vincent van Gogh stayed in The Hague and took lessens from Anton Muave and learned to know Jozef Israëls, Hendrik Johannes Weissenbruch, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, the brothers Jacob and Willem Maris, and George Breitner. I found 48 paintings, drawings and watercolours of Scheveningen by Vincent van Gogh.

‘Anneloes Groot painted the modern Scheveningen including the harbour and fishingboats. See some of this material here and here.

‘On the website you will also find large numbers of Delft blue tiles and plates and murals showing scenes of Scheveningen.

‘Finally, I understand that you have nice memories of Scheveningen. You can find images showing how the coast at Scheveningen has changed here.

35 wrecked zulus found at Findhorn

Findhorn Zulus

Some 35 wrecked 30-50ft zulus have been identified along the Culbin edge of Findhorn Bay and are being investigated as part of an archaelogical project.

The zulus were a short-lived but often mighty type of fishing boat with a near vertical stem and a sharply raked stern that fell out of use when engines came in as their sterns were not easily adapted to being powered.

This is a fascinating piece of news from the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage At Risk Project website is fascinating for anyone who, like me, has wondered where the zulus went when their careers ended, as there are very few still in existence. for earlier posts about zulus, click here.

The SCHARP folks suspect the area was used for mooring the fleet, as they have found a postcard showing a large number of the boats moored and afloat in the area where the wrecks were found.

I gather that there was a similar project at Loch Fleet last year.

PS – My friend Iain Anderson, whose grandfather sailed with the zulu fleet has given me a link to this remarkable and interesting web page about the loss of the zulu Evangeline in 1905. The survival of young Saucy is remarkable, and the irony of the argument about melodeon playing will stay with me.

But then there’s this from a newspaper cutting:

”The sea has some mercy, but the land has none,” said one of the seafaring witnesses.

‘A number of fishing boats from Buckie, Portnockie and Cullen were caught were caught at their nets twenty or thirty miles off Wick by the gale. Adopting the recognised method in such cases these boats rode at their nets, drifting along as a whole towards the Orkney Islands. Had the gale lasted one or two days – the usual period – instead of being prolonged into four days, the consequences must have been greatly mitigated, if, indeed, worth of mention. But the terrible trial in almost every case proved too much for the gear, which gave out, and the boats having parted from their floating anchors, were forced to depend on their sea-going qualities for the safety of those on board. That so many of the zulu boats that encountered the full fury of the blast should have lived through it to tell the tale is a high testimony to the high reputation the zulu style of build has always enjoyed among fishermen as seaworthy craft, backed up as it must have been by the renowned skill and endurance of our fishermen… It may be the case that had she [Evangeline] had sea room her crew would to-day have been in the land of the living… Certain it is that it was through no lack of seamanship or sea-faring knowledge that the boat was lost…’