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English and Dutch ships taking on stores or cargo at a port. Although the port is probably imaginary, the activities relating to the loading has been closely observed. It has been set in a harbour, with the tower of a gate and a quay visible on the right, and the coast in the distance on the left. An English flagship is on the right, firing a salute and flying the ensign from the stern carved with the royal coat of arms. Beside the quay is an English flyboat that, from her shape, was probably Dutch-built. A royal yacht is arriving on the left and this has prompted the firing of the salute. On the extreme left is the stern of a Dutch ship. On the quay two bales of stores or goods with clear cargo markings have been positioned in the foreground. Men are involved in loading up small craft, a horse is dragging a barrel on skids to the water's edge and there are several groups of gentlemen and women observing the activities. A guard stands outside a sentry box in the gateway.
This signed work came to light in 1972 and provided the first definitive identification of Knyff's artistic hand. It is a sophisticated painting with accurate ships depicted. It is also a relatively late example of a tradition in Netherlandish art of such waterfront compositions which, real or imaginary, provided an obvious focus for scenes of varied incident.
oil on canvas
H 96.5 x W 127 cm