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Core Record

Title Sea Piece
Collection University of Edinburgh Fine Art Collection
Artist Attributed to school of Mulier, Pieter, the elder (Dutch painter, ca. 1615-1670)
Previously attributed to Blanckerhoff, Jan Theunisz. (Dutch painter and draftsman, 1628-1669)
Previously attributed to Dutch School
Previously attributed to Porcellis, Jan (Dutch painter and printmaker, ca. 1584-1632)
Previously attributed to Ruisdael, Jacob van (Dutch painter and draftsman, born 1628 or 1629, died 1682)
Date Earliest about 1625
Date Latest 1670
Signed yes
Description This work has been previously attributed to various artists such as Adriaen van de Velde, Jacob van Ruisdael and, most plausibly, to Jan Porcellis. However, it bears a striking similarlity to the work of Pieter Mulier the Elder (1605-1670) who was a follower of Jan Porcellis. The dark band of foreground, regular peaks of the waves and the tilt of the ship are all charactersitic of his work. Mulier was a member of the Haarlem Guild in 1640. His pupils included Frederick Cornelisz and Christian de Hulst.
Current Accession Number EU 711
Former Accession Number NGS no. 27
Inscription front (on spar in foreground) 'A.V.V.' (?')
Subject marine
Measurements 40 x 56 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Sir James Erskine, third Baronet of Torrie 1835.
Principal Exhibitions The Torrie Collection. An Exhibition to mark the Quatercentenary of the University of Edinburgh, Talbot Rice Art Centre, The University of Edinburgh, 1983, cat. no. 11.
Publications Waagen, G. F., Treasures of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854-7, vol. 3, p. 274 as by Ruisdael; Hoofstede de Groot, C., 'Hollandsche Kunst in Scholtland' , Oud Holland, 11.3 (Part I), 1893, p. 134; Catalogue of Portraits and busts of Benefactors, Principals, Professors and others and of the Torrie Collection of Paintings and Bronzes. The Property of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 1909; The Torrie Collection. An Exhibition to Mark the Quatercentenary of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 1983, cat. no. 11, p. 21; ; Macmillan, D., A Catalogue of the The Torrie Collection, Edinburgh, 2004, p. 40.
Notes The initials 'AVV' which have been read on the painting in the past but are now illegible have suggested an attribution to Adriaen van de Velde (1636 - 72), who is known to have executed some beach scenes. However, this is most unlikely. Waagen attributed the work to Jacob van Ruisdael; Hoofstede de Groot to Jan Porcellis. J. T. Blanckerhoff has also been suggested. Emilie Gordenker (National Gallery of Scotland, 2007) has very plausibly suggested a similarity with the work of Pieter Mulier the Elder (1605 - 1670). The turbulent waves painted in rather sharp, regular peaks and the dark foreground in this painting are very similar to features seen in Mulier's work. Furthermore, Mulier frequently signed his works with a 'PM' monogramme on a spar in the foreground. A very faint monogram is painted on such a spar in the foreground of this painting. It has been formerly read as 'AVV'. However, it could just as easily be read as 'PM'. However, Emilie Gordenker considers that the treatment of the sky is rather different to that of Mulier. The painting is likely to be by a follower of Mulier - perhaps, even, an early work of his son's, Pieter Mulier the Younger (1627 - 1701).
Rights Owner Torrie Collection
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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