Rotterdam’s Maritime Museum was founded in 1874 and is the oldest maritime museum in the Netherlands. With over 1.2 million objects, it is also one of the largest collections in the field of Dutch maritime history. Art originating from before 1750 is a small but superb part of the collection, with about 1,500 paintings, prints, and drawings. They depict historical events (related to the Dutch East and West India Companies, for instance), city panoramas (such as one of Constantinople from 1626 by Claes Jansz Visscher), fishing scenes, ship portraits, and portraits of naval officers, naval battles, and shipbuilding. Artists represented in the museum’s collection include Jan de Baen, Ludolf Bakhuizen, Johannes Becx, Cornelis Beelt, Caspar van den Bos, Willem van Diest, Willem Eversdijck, Cornelis de Mooij, Reinier Nooms, Bonaventura Peeters, Adriaen (van der) Salm, R. (van der) Salm, Aernout Smit, Hendrick Sorgh, Abraham Storck, Simon de Vlieger, Pieter Vogelaer, Willem van de Velde the Elder, Abraham de Verwer, Cornelis van Wieringen, Adam Willarts, and Claes van Willigen. Highlights include six pen and ink drawings by Willem van de Velde the Elder.
Irene Jacobs, Curator (January 2023)