Matthieu van Plattenberg - A Dutch Ship in a Storm
A storm scene painted soon after the artist moved to Italy. In the centre, in stern view, a Dutch ship with an ornately carved stern and flying the Dutch flag, is depicted close-hauled on the port tack. She flies the province of Holland's flag from the bow. Fortified buildings stand above an outcrop of land top left. Below is a rocky overhang with trees carefully positioned for dramatic affect. The inclusion of figures adds a sense of drama as they stand or sit under the overhang and watch the ship. Several of them have been fishing since their equipment rests nearby, but they also serve to highlight the potential plight of the ship running close to the rocks in a stormy sea. Spray splashes up the side of the ship in the brisk sea. Another ship on the right, also with a carved stern, has furled its sails. Although the artist has applied the typical devices a ship in a storm, he has also introduced a flamboyance and colour influenced by his arrival in Italy. The painting reflects the golden glow of the Mediterranean in the sky, top left, with the craggy cliffs, jagged moss-laden trees and the bravura of Salvator Rosa, 1615-73. Van Plattenberg was a pupil of van Eertvelt whom he followed to Italy. He moved from Florence to Paris where he changed his name to Plattemontagne.