Johannes Vingboons (Amsterdam 1616/7 - Amsterdam 1670)
Sea Battle between Dutch and Portuguese Fleet off the coast of Goa in 1638
extensively inscribed with letters relating to a key
pen and black ink, grey wash, watercolour and gouache, over black chalk, laid down on board
438 x 760 mm
With Kunsthandel Lijstenfabriek, Johann Lansen, Alkmaar
This magnificent depiction of a naval battle comes from the hand of Johannes Vingboons, one of the foremost makers of topographical and cartographical drawings in Amsterdam in the mid 17th century. It shows an engagement between the fleets of Portugal and the Netherlands that took place in front of the Portuguese fortress at Goa, in southern India, on the 24th of January 1638. It is an independent variant of Vingboons own design for the celebrated Atlas Blaeu-van der Hem, (c.1665-1673), commissioned and assembled by Laurens van der Hem, and now in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna. This extraordinary work is described by Unesco as "the greatest atlas ever to have been produced". Van der Hem took a print publication, the Atlas Maior (1662-73), a lavish series issued by Amsterdam publisher Joan Blaeu in eleven volumes, and he vastly extended it. He added original works in pen and watercolour to Blaeu's plates, including many by Vingboons, increasing the total number of images from 594 to an astonishing 2,400 sheets. Van der Hem had these bound into 46 volumes. Four of the volumes covered territory belonging to the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie - VOC), using the privy cartographic holdings assembled by the Company over six decades. Numerous other artists were tasked with supplying the images for van der Hem, including Jacques Callot, Bonaventura Peeters, and Andries Beeckman.
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