A boeier flying the Dutch flag is portrayed apparently setting her sprit in a fresh breeze, with a variety of shipping visible beyond to left and right. A boeier is a small Dutch sprit-rigged seagoing merchant vessel with a deep sail and with a curved spoon bow, and the painter has carefully detailed the rigging. There is a group of figures seated in the stern including two women, one wearing a red scarf knotted over her head and one in a white cap. A child leans out towards the water where the waves splash against the side of the boat, whilst a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and with his back to the viewer leans forwards towards the sails. By the mast another man stands, facing away from the viewer, and bringing the sprit in to the foot of the mast. In the background the skyline of a village, including the steeple of a church, is visible. Although Dutch craft have been portrayed it may be an English port. This painting may be one that was submitted for exhibition but was rejected by the Royal Academy, when it was based at The National Gallery, in 1840. It was accepted for an exhibition in Manchester instead, where the artist was rewarded with a prize of 20 guineas and the Heywood silver medal. If so, it is likely that the painting was the result of two sketching trips that Chambers made to Holland in company with his pupils. The painting has been signed by the artist and is dated '1831'.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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