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A Dutch Ferry Boat before a Breeze
1645
Simon de Vlieger

A Dutch Ferry Boat before a Breeze  1645 Simon de Vlieger

A variety of shipping is shown on a blustery day off the Dutch coast. On the left is a fishing pink with a red sail, with several sailors occupied in putting up a second sail. An armed merchant vessel (a fluyt) flying the Dutch flag can be seen in the distance on the left. In the foreground in the centre of the painting is a kaag or ferry boat with a red sail, flying the Dutch flag at the mainmast and with passengers on board. A sailor with a red cap stands on the starboard-quarter gunwale
hauling in the sail. The boat dominates the composition, its upturned angle allowing a clear view of its occupants. A man and woman sit on a bench with their backs to the viewer whilst other passengers are placed around the sides. Several smoke pipes, with their features and clothes carefully defined and, unusually, one of the figures wearing a turban looks directly towards the viewer. The varied dress of the passengers, indicating their social status, has been carefully observed. The painting has been strongly lit

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