Willem van de Velde, the Younger, was the leading marine painter of Dutch origin of his time. Although his date of birth is unknown, he was baptized in Leiden in December 1633. His passion for marinescapes was influenced by his father and first mentor, Willem van de Velde, the Elder. He was also under the teachings of Simon de Vlieger in Amsterdam, another artist of marine subjects.
The artist married his first wife, Petronella le Maire of Weesp, in March 1652, but the couple remained together for little over a year, and by June 1653, they were initiating the separation process. About three years later, Velde married Magdalena Walravens, his second wife, which he would have six children with - three of them would continue in their fathers’ footsteps and also became painters: Willem, Cornelis, and Peter.
During the same period of his second marriage, van de Velde was living in Leiden and working alongside his father for the Corte Coninckstraat in Amsterdam.
The artist moved to England by 1674, where his paintings caught the attention of none other than King Charles II, who became his main patron. Velde and his father worked side by side yet again, creating beautiful seascapes for the King, where he would produce paintings using Velde, the Elder’s drawings.
This was the peak of Velde, the Youngers’ career, as he was not only working for the King, but also for many members of noble society, as well as the Duke of York, who was also his fathers’ patron.
The same year Velde was employed by King Charles II, he and his father began an art studio at Greenwich. The studio was at the Queen’s property, and Velde, the Younger, continued to work there after his father passed away in 1693. He worked alongside other artists like Isaac Sailmaker, Peter Monamy, Jacob Knyff, and his two sons, Cornelis and Willem.
Willem van de Velde, the Younger, became famous for his breathtaking portrayals of seascapes with beautiful renderings of ships, mostly depicting the Dutch coast. His sensitive view of the sea made him one of the most influential and beloved marine painter of his time.