This is a unique introduction to a fascinating group of early marine painters working in England between about 1660 and 1730, of whom relatively little is known. Marine painting really began in England with the arrival of the van de Veldes (father and son) from Holland in 1673. They established a studio of British marine painting which was such a success that additional assistants were taken on. The van de Veldes so dominated the world of marine painting that work by other attractive and competent marine artists working in England at the time received little attention. This relatively unknown group, which is the real subject of this important book, included Isaac Sailmaker, Jacob Knyff, J.K.D. van Beecq, Adrian van Diest, L. Castro, L.D. Man, H. Vale and R. Vale. The author has spent many years searching for pictures and scraps of information about these painters, the outcome being their emergence as personalities in their own right. Pictures by these painters have been appearing in British sale rooms more frequently and their work is increasingly sought after by collectors.
The book's illustration is included to demonstrate a particular painter's range as well as the characteristics of his technique. Important, major pictures are obviously better known while the smaller, more run-of-the-mill works, often no less charming, have, hitherto, not received as much attention. These smaller, often more typical efforts are illustrated alongside the major ones thereby enabling the reader to make useful and, for the first time, direct comparisons between the painter's own work and that of his contemporaries.