Ludolf Backhuysen Biography1631-1708
Dutch Baroque Painter
Ships Running Aground in a Storm by Ludolf Backhuysen 1690s Oil on canvas, 173,5 x 341 cm Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, BrusselsHe was brought up as a merchant at Amsterdam, but early discovered so strong a genius for painting that he relinquished his business interests and devoted himself to art. He studied first under Allart van Everdingen and then under Hendrik Dubbels, two eminent masters of the time, and soon became celebrated for his sea-pieces.
He was an ardent student of nature, and frequently exposed himself on the sea in an open boat in order to study the effects of storms. His compositions, which are numerous, are nearly all variations of one subject, the sea, and in a style peculiarly his own, marked by intense realism or faithful imitation of nature. In his later years Backhuysen employed his kills in etching and calligraphy.
He died in Amsterdam on November 17, 1708.