Antwerp 1590 – 1652
Sea Battle, possibly the Battle of Lowestoft
Oil on canvas 110 x 182 cm


European private collection

Andries van Eertvelt was born in Antwerp and baptized in the Antwerp cathedral on 25 March 1590. There is no record of the masters which whom he trained.
He was registered in the Guild of Antwerp in 1609. He married Catherine de Vlieger in 1615. The couple had two children.
After the dead of his wife in 1626/7 he travelled together with one of his pupils, Mattieu van Plattenberg to Italy. He is documented in Genoa from 1628-1630, where he lived with his compatriot Cornelis de Wael, who also practiced marine art, in particular the depiction of sea battles.In1630 van Eertvelt returned to Antwerp.

He had a very successful career as a marine artist and some of his works were exported to markets in Spain and Portugal. He had also an eager clientele in the Dutch Republic. Anthony van Dyck painted his portrait and an engraving freely cut after this portrait was included in van Dyck’s ‘Iconography’Van Eertvelt also appears to have engaged in diplomatic activity.

Van Eertvelt is regarded as the first Flemish marine painter. His marine paintings covered the whole range of battle scenes, views of ships in rivers and harbours.
His favourite themes were Dutch ships at sea and views of ships in southern, often imaginary harbours. He was influenced by Vroom, but there is no proof for the widespread suggestion that he studied under Vroom.

In his early paintings, van Eertvelt adopted a bright mannerist style and his palette was characterized by greenish –blue and brown tones. He often relied on white to make the rigging of the ships stand out against the dark sea. Later he changed to a softer and more subtle palette in particular after his return from Italy.