c.1645 – c.1700
A Dutch Marine Scene in the Harbour of Amsterdam with shipping including a Man-o-War and a State’s Yacht flying the Flag of the Dutch East India Company
Little appears to be known about the early life of Gerrit Pompe though he may have studied under Jacob Gerritsz Loef in his native Enkhuizen or nearby Hoorn. Pompe moved to Rotterdam in 1689 where he was a pupil of Ludolf Bakhuizen. Pompe's work was strongly influenced by Bakhuizen as seen in his rendering of water and his marines are characteristically imbued with dramatic lighting. He was also extremely adept at depicting rigging and sails perhaps in part due to his previous career as a silk merchant in Enkhuizen.
This harbour scene shows a bustling Dutch port with a man-o-war and a states yacht setting sail as sloops and row boats mill around to ferry sailors and supplies. A grand Dutch warship at the centre of the composition is flying the Dutch flag at the bow, atop its masts, and as ensign at the stern. The plaque at the stern shows the Orange lion over crossed anchors, the insignia of the Dutch Royal Navy. The ornate states yacht following behind also flies the Dutch colours and its ensign flag has the crossed anchors of the navy.
The ship to the far right of the composition with its elaborately decorated bow is flying a Dutch East India Company flag. The addition of the letter A to the distinctive VOC monogram shows that this ship is from the Amsterdam branch of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie now returned to its home port.
Pompe's characteristic skill in representing shipping, with particular attention paid to rigging and sail cloth, is revealed in this well-preserved piece. The dozens of wooden blocks in the warship's taught rigging have been painstakingly painted. The warship's bowsprit is furled as is the main mast, while the fore and mizzen mast sails have caught the wind, allowing the ship to slowly and carefully exit the narrow estuary.