Born 1631; died 1709. It represents an approaching storm, the dark waves dash briskly on, the sails are reefed, and heavy clouds are gathering over the sky; nature seems preparing for a scene of gloomy turbulence, yet a bright ray of hope remains in the gleam of the distant horizon. This eminent master was a native of Embden. The piece before us is a powerful specimen of his pencil. The chiaroscuro is grand and effective. It was his custom, whenever he could, to procure mariners to go out to sea in a storm, in order to store his mind with grand images, and to delight in the majesty of scenes that would fill a weak heart with terror. He was a complete master of effect, and united the charm of science to a wonderful beauty of execution and we are struck with admiration at the truth of the perspective in the distance of the vessels. . . . No painter was ever more honoured by the visits of kings and princes than Backhuysen. The king of Prussia was one of the number, and the czar Peter the Great took delight in seeing him paint, and often endeavoured to sketch vessels which he had designed. (On canvass--4ft. 3 in. by 3 ft.) [P. 21.]
Catalogue of Paintings, by the Great Masters, including Specimens of the First Class, of the Italian, Venetian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French, and English Schools. It penetrates the inward recesses of the soul--even surpassing the power and force of eloquence.--Quintillian on the Art of Painting. Boston: Press of John H. Eastburn.