Restored Hendrick van Anthonissen painting reveals whale on Scheveningen beach

Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum’s gallery of Dutch Golden Age paintings has gone back on display display this week following a refurbishment – and includes the surprising image of a beached whale on Scheveningen beach that had previously been painted out.

The whale appears in a 1641 work by Hendrick van Anthonissen.

The beach at Scheveningen must be one of the most painted stretches of coast anywhere – this Googlewhack shows what I mean. Many of them contain fishing and other boats working from the beach, and often a fish market in operation. See an earlier post on this topic here.

PS – I have a modern example of a Scheveningen beach painting that my parents bought years ago on my wall. Can anyone tell me anything about it please? Who was the artist with the illegible signature?

Scheveningen beach with fishing boats

George Bellows’ painting Men of the Docks acquired by The National Gallery


The National Gallery’s first major American painting  is George Bellows’ 1912 work Men of the Docks.

Purchased from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, the painting cost a cool $25.5m – to buy it the National Gallery used some of the fund established by the late Sir Paul Getty but also received support from anonymous sources in buying the painting.

The work was made in a period of experiment and innovation in the early years of the 20th century, and its acquisition marks a new direction in the Gallery’s acquisition policy – seeking to represent paintings in the Western European tradition, rather than solely those made by artists working in Western Europe. I gather Bellows owed much to Manet and Goya.

Men of the Docks is the final and largest in a series of Bellows paintings of workers gathered on a frigid winter day on the New York waterfront. It is on display alongside major Impressionist works by Monet and Pissarro.

For more information see the National Gallery’s press release.

Claudia Myatt’s six top tips for maritime artists

Claudia Myatt sails

Claudia Myatt is a talented and highly effective maritime artist who knows how to conjure up a form in a few sweet lines – see some samples of her work here.

Her site also has a nice download of traditional boat drawings for kids to colour-in, which might provide some entertainment for children shut in due to all the bad weather we’ve been having.

Claudia has drawn up her six top tips for drawing and painting boats and ships. They sound like they could make all the difference to those of you draw well enough to find the experience rewarding – and if you do I can’t tell you how envious I am!

My thanks to regular reader and contributor Paul Mullings for leading me to this one.