The Dutch Fleet under Sail
Willem Van De Velde The Elder,
The Dutch Fleet under Sail’ is believed to be a depiction of the Dutch battle fleet prepared to set sail for the Medway and Sheerness in 1667. This expedition commanded by Admiral De Ruyter resulted in a stunning success. Much of the English navy was destroyed or captured. This painting is now kept in Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy. It was acquired in 1674 by Cardinal Leopold de Medici who at that time was travelling to Holland.
The monochromatic technique used in the painting is called grisaille, and was a trademark of Van De Velde the Elder.