Framed oil painting on canvas of a sea battle, probably 'Dutch Ships in the Medway, June 1667', attributed to Willem Schellinks (c1627-c1678). Schellinks was the oldest surviving son of Laurens Schellinks, tailor and freeman of Amsterdam, and Catalijntje Kousenaer; Laurens originally came from Maasbree (Limburg) but established himself in Amsterdam in 1609. There were seven other children, of whom Daniel Schellinks (1627–1701) also became a painter. Draftsman, painter, etcher and poet, Willem Schellinks was one of the most widely traveled Dutch artists of his time, travelling with fellow Dutch artist, Lambert Doomer (1624-1700), in 1646 along the valley of the Loire from Nantes to Orleans, Paris, and the valley of the Seine. Between 1661 and 1665, Shellinks visited England, France, Italy, Malta, Germany, and Switzerland, drawing landscapes and scenic views. Schellinks may have been sketching on commission as an observer for the Dutch government, for many of his drawings include strategic points that would have interested the government's intelligence service. Schellinks's subjects encompass Dutch and Italian views, river and harbor scenes, inns or ancient ruins with resting horsemen and hunting parties, and winter scenes. He worked easily in a range of other artists' styles, particularly that of the Italianate masters. His works are rare today, perhaps in part because he was so adaptable; they have often been wrongly attributed to other painters. Schellinks used his earlier drawings from England as the basis for his paintings of the successful 1667 Dutch naval raid on the English in the Medway River at Chatham during the Second English-Dutch War (1765-1767). The panoramic view, whicn is probably taken from above Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppe and looking roughtly south-west towards Chatham and Rochester, shows nine ships in the battle, longboats transporting people, and sloping hills in the background.
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