The Vereeniging Nederlandsch Historisch Scheepvaart Museum (Netherlands Historical Maritime Museum Association) is celebrating its 100th anniversary with the purchase of Gezicht op het IJ met 's Lands Zeemagazijn ('view of the river IJ with 's Lands Zeemagazijn') by Reinier Nooms (1623/24-1664).
Thanks to generous support from the Rembrandt Association (Vereniging Rembrandt) and its Acquoy-Nairac Fund, the BankGiro Lottery, the Mondriaan Fund, Het Compagnie Fonds (the foundation through which private donors can support Het Scheepvaartmuseum), and the Vereeniging Nederlandsch Historisch Scheepvaart Museum, Het Scheepvaartmuseum has been able to add this outstanding piece of art by the maritime painter Reinier Nooms to its collection.
Reinier Nooms is one of the most important maritime painters of the seventeenth century. Because of his many sea voyages he was given the nickname Zeeman ('sailor' in Dutch), with which he signed this painting. Nooms depicted maritime and nautical details with the eye of an expert, and his work is an important source of information about seventeenth-century Dutch seafaring.
's Lands Zeemagazijn
The painting depicts 's Lands Zeemagazijn, the present-day location of Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum), as seen from Buitenkant, the present-day Prins Hendrikkade. In 1656, the Admiralty of Amsterdam began using the newly completed 's Lands Zeemagazijn as a storage depot for the Dutch navy. This painting clearly tells a visual story about Amsterdam as the centre of the seventeenth-century seafaring industry, the role of 's Lands Zeemagazijn, and the activities of the shipyards and surrounding areas. Nooms's painting impressively demonstrates that some of the preparations for the Anglo-Dutch Wars were carried out in the shipyards close to where the museum now stands, which means museum visitors are coming to a historic location.
This makes the painting a remarkable addition to Dutch public art, in terms of both art history and maritime history. The museum plans to display this masterpiece by Reinier Nooms for the first time this autumn as part of a major exhibition covering the 100-year history of the museum collection. The painting makes a particularly interesting pair together with a recently acquired seventeenth-century model ship.
Exactly one hundred years ago, the Vereeniging Nederlandsch Historisch Scheepvaart Museum began working on the collection which, by 2016, has grown into one of the richest maritime history collections in the world.