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Work Carriage on the Beach at Scheveningen

Department of Paintings: Dutch painting

Carriage on the Beach at Scheveningen

© 2009 Musée du Louvre / Erich Lessing

Dutch painting

Collange Adeline

The carriage could be that of the young Prince William of Orange (William III), future Stadtholder then king of England.

A carriage ride at low tide

An impressive carriage is making its way along the peaceful beach at Scheveningen, the team led by a man on horseback, the driver cracking his whip. One of the valets, also wearing blue livery, is running after two hunting dogs playing on the sand. The carriage could be that of the young Prince William of Orange (William III), future Stadtholder then king of England. The tide is out, villagers are walking on the beach, children are playing and a man is returning from fishing with a large net. The verticals of the masts of the beached boats and of the small church steeple give rhythm to this essentially horizontal composition.

Precise details

Adriaen van de Velde belonged to a long dynasty of Dutch painters. He was born in Amsterdam, where he was trained by his brother Willem van de Velde the Younger, a painter of seascapes and naval battles. He then worked in the studio of the landscape painter Jan Winants in Haarlem. He kept his brother's taste for precise detail, a penchant which is accentuated by the influence of the very precise drawing of Paulus Potter. Each detail, even the most distant, is treated with great finesse. The painter uses diagonal backlighting to give the carriage relief and emphasize the whiteness of the horses.

The transparency of sea air

The painting derives much of its charm from its poetically delicate light. A stay in Italy from 1653 to 1656, but also the decisive influence of Italianate painters such as Karel Dujardin and Nicolaes Berchem, drew van de Velde's palette towards warmer hues and a softer, golden light. In the vast sky with its heaving rolling clouds, the sun seems to make the damp sea air glisten. Van de Velde's peerless talent enables him to play with the brightest simplicity and capture the limpid yet hazy transience of the sea air.


Annie Lorenzo et Marie-Josèphe de Balanda, Le cheval vu par les peintres, 1987, Éditions Vilo

Technical description

  • Adriaen van de VELDE (Amsterdam, 1636 - Amsterdam, 1672)

    Carriage on the Beach at Scheveningen


  • H. 0.37 m; W. 0.49 m

  • Collection of Louis XVI (acquired at the Vaudreuil sale, Paris, 1784)

    INV. 1915

  • Paintings

    Richelieu wing
    2nd floor
    Holland, second half of the 17th century
    Room 836

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Additional information about the work

Signed and dated: A.V. VELDE.F.1660