Ships Being Repaired

A depiction of ships anchored in a calm harbour. A group on the left consists of one larger ship, probably a merchantman, and several smaller vessels. There is also a group of ships on the far right, flying the Dutch flag. In the foreground a ship lying on its side is being careened. This process involved hauling ships aground to allow their hulls to be scraped free of weed and barnacles. The men working on the upturned ship stand on a floating breaming raft. In the central foreground, flat barge raft is depicted, with a man standing on the left in a red jacket, propelling it with a pole. There are a number of barrels on the raft, and a group of five men are relaxing. Several of them are seated, and they are all variously smoking or drinking. The sea is depicted as flat calm, so that the men's reflections are visible in the water.

Reinier Nooms, known as Zeeman, was born and died in Amsterdam, and as his name implies, he spent his early life at sea. He painted in the Dutch realist style with a lively palette, and scenes such as this were informed by his own experiences and observations. The painting has been signed 'R. Zeeman' on the small boat, lower left.

Object Details

ID: BHC0814
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Nooms, Reinier
Date made: Mid 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection
Measurements: Frame: 448 mm x 543 mm x 75 mm;Painting: 325 mm x 406 mm

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