Dutch Whaling: Vreeden Hof

Dutch Whaling: Vreeden Hof

The Greenland Whale Fishery

Joghem de Vries, attributed, 1769

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch had a major whale fishery. Dutch marine artists painted it. These paintings may have been designed for a house or hall. They are in pairs and could fit around tall narrow windows. The setting presents a complete view of the Greenland whale fishery, one that the artist must have seen.

One of the museum’s founders purchased these from the Hearst Collection in California. After his family left Searsport , they were in the whaling business and collected whaling art.

Boats have tripled up to tow a whale back to the ship where it will be stripped of blubber. A polar bear watches. The whaleship is the Vreeden Hof. 1769 is on the stern of a whaleboat.

Oil on canvas.

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Geographic Location: 
Joghem de Vries