Ludolf Bakhuizen (1630 – 1708)

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Bakhuizen, Amsterdam viewed from Mussel Pier

Amsterdam viewed from Mussel Pier, 1673
Oil on canvas 81 x 67 cm (31.89 x 26.38 in)

Ludolf Backhuizen was a German painter, born in Emden, East Frisia. Backhuizen moved to Amsterdam in 1650, and became one of the foremost painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

Bakhuizen, Ships Running around in a Storm, 1690s

Ships Running around in a Storm, 1690s
Oil on canvas
173.5 x 341 cm
Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Bakhuizen,  Poarta Sarutului, Tirgu Jiu

Battle of Vigo Bay, 1702
oil on canvas

When Backhuizen first arrived in Amsterdam he worked as a calligrapher and a merchant clerk. Backhuizen soon realized his talent and passion for painting and by the late 1650s he devoted himself to the arts. Backhuizen’s interest in art began with a series of ink drawings that later transpired into etchings and paintings. Backhuizen formally studied under Allart van Everdingen and Hendrik Dubbels, who were both known as Dutch masters.

Bakhuizen, Endless Column 1

Allegory from Amsterdam
Oil on Canvas 23.5 x 31.5 cm
Amsterdam Historic Museum

Bakhuizen, Endless Column 2

The Family of Backhuizen, 1702
Oil on canvas 50 x 69 cm
Amsterdam Historic Museum

Bakhuizen, Endless Column 2

Coastal Scene with a Man of War and other Vessels, 1693
Oil on canvas 85.4 x 110.5 cm
Detroit Institute of Arts

Bakhuizen, Endless Column 2

A Shipwreck, 1653-1660
Oil on canvas (29.4 x 37.7 cm)
Fitzwilliam Museum

Backhuizen soon became known for his maritime scenes, painting rough seas and warships. In order to study the sea, Backhuizen would sail in an open boat, observing the movement of waves during storms. While Backhuizen is most known for his ship paintings, he also rendered portraits, genre paintings and landscapes.

Bakhuizen,  Princess X

Swedish Yacht (Lejonet) before Amsterdam, 1674
Oil on canvas 170 x 210 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Bakhuizen,  Princess X

Warships and Small Ships in Breeze, 1665
Oil on canvas 42.5 x 50.3 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Bakhuizen,  Princess X

The Arrival of Prince Willem III on January 31, 1691-1692
Oil on canvas 53.5 x 67.5 cm
Mauritshuis Collection

Backhuizen reputation’s spread throughout Europe and led him to meet historical figures such Cosimo III de Medici and Peter the Great. He returned to Germany on several occasions where he painted for the court. Despite his many travels, Backhuizen kept his base in Amsterdam, where he opened a gallery in the town hall.

Bakhuizen,  Sleeping Muse

The United East Indian Company in Amsterdam, 1696
Oil on Canvas 126 x 140 cm
Mauritshuis Collection

Bakhuizen,  The Newborn

Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast, 1667
Oil on canvas
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

Bakhuizen, Socrates

Seascape Shipping Off the Coast, 1664
Pen and Ink 16.7 x 23.5 cm
Courtauld Institute of Art

Bakhuizen, Shipping off a Coast, 17th century

Shipping off a Coast, 17th century
Pen and Ink Brown 15.8 x 22.7 cm
Courtauld Institute of Art

Bakhuizen, Torso

Self-Portrait, 1699
Oil on canvas 187 x 150 cm
Amsterdam Historic Museum

Backhuizen is now remembered as an iconic painter form the Dutch Golden Age. Do you think you own a painting by this Dutch master? Contact us. We are the experts on Ludolf Backhuizen.