Vandervelde

, Vandenvelde, or Vande­Velde (William), called the Old, one of a distinguished family of painters, was born at Leyden in 1610. He was originally bred to the sea, but afterwards studied painting, and retained enough of his former profession to make it the source of his future fame. In marine subjects, he became a most correct and admirable designer, and made an incredible number of drawings on paper, heightened with Indian ink, which he sketched after nature, with uncommon elegance and fidelity.

As the English were remarkable for constructing their vessels in a much more graceful form than any other European power, and were equally remarkable for their generous encouragement of artists, Vandervelde determined to come to London, with his son, and was soon after taken into the service of Charles II. with the salary of lOOl. ayear for himself, and the same sum for his sort: in the order of privy-seal for these salaries it is expressed that the salary is given to the father “for taking and making draughts of sea-fights,” and to the son “for putting the said draughts into colours.” It was, however, not much to the honour of William the Old that he conducted, it is said, the English fleet to burn Schelling. It was, adds Walpole, pushing his gratitude too far to serve the king against his own country.

Vandervelde was such an enthusiast in his art, that in order more exactly to observe the movements and various positions of ships engaged in a sea-fight, he did not hesitate to attend sea-engagements in a small light vessel, and sail close to the enemy, attentive only to his drawing, and without the least apparent anxiety for the danger to which he was every moment exposed. In this way he took sketches of the severe battle between the duke of York and adnwral Opdam, in which the Dutch admiral and five hundred men were blown up, and of the memorable engagement which continued three days between Monck and )e Ruyter, sailing alternately between the fleets, so as to represent minutely every movement of the ships, and the most material circumstances of the action, with incredible exactness and truth. In the latter part of his life, he commonly painted in black and white, on a ground so prepared on canvas as to make it have the appearance of paper. | He died in 1693, and was buried in St. James’s church, Piccadilly. 1

1

Argenville, vol. III. Pilkinftoa. Walpole’s Anecdotes.