After more than 170 years, a forgotten painting from the Berlin Gemäldegalerie can once again be presented to the public: the "Naval Three-Master on a Slightly Agitated Sea" by Olfert de Vrij (1635-1699). After a thorough restoration, the painting can now be admired again in all its beauty - and is being shown in a separate exhibition to mark the occasion.
The exhibition presents for the first time the only two works of the painting autodiadact Olfert de Vrijs that are publicly accessible today.
It sheds light on his impressive painting technique and the elaborate restoration of the Berlin painting. Drawings from the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett place the works in the context of Dutch marine painting. At the same time, the exhibition explores the historical background and the great efforts of the Great Elector to establish Brandenburg as a naval power. This is evidenced by another 17th-century Dutch marine painting by Lieve Verschuier from Oranienburg Palace, as well as gold ducats from the Berlin Numismatic Collection.
The painting "Marinestück Dreimaster auf leicht bewegter See" shows two merchant frigates, which can be identified on the basis of the recognizable coats of arms as those ships built in Amsterdam in 1662-63 for Frederick William of Brandenburg, the Great Elector.
The painting is very significant for art history and Brandenburg historiography. It has a technique characteristic of marine painting and was probably commissioned by the Great Elector. The amateur painter Olfert de Vrij (1635-1699), largely unknown today, was a lawyer and municipal official in the North Holland city of Hoorn. Although de Vrij was not a professional artist, he is considered one of the most talented and technically skilled marine painters of the 17th century.
A special exhibition of the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin