admiral of England, greeting. Whereas wee have thought fitt to allow the salary of one hundred pounds per annum unto William Vandevelde the elder for taking and making draughts of sea-fights; and the like salary of one hundred pounds per annum unto William Vandevelde the younger for putting the said draughts into colours for our particular use ; our will and pleasure is, and wee do hereby authorize and require you to issue your orders for the present and future establishment of the said salaries to the aforesaid William Vandevelde the elder and William Vandevelde the younger, to be paid unto them and either of them during our pleasure, and for so doing these our letters shall be your sufficient warrant and discharge. Given under our privy-seal at our pallace of Westminster, the 20th day of February, in the 26th year of our reign."
The father, who was a very able master, painted chiefly in black and white, and latterly always put the date on his works. He was buried in St. James's-church ; on the grave-stone is this inscription :—
" Mr. William Vandevelde, senior, late painter of sea-fights to their majesties King Charles II. and King James, dyed 1693."
William Vandevelde, the son, was the greatest man that has appeared in this branch of painting; the palm is not less disputed with Raphael for history, than with Vandevelde for sea-pieces. 1 Annibal Caracci and Mr. Scott 2 have not surpassed those chieftains. William was born at Amsterdam, in 1633, and wanted no master but his father,____________________
His peculiar excellence has been thus satisfactorily discriminated. "We esteem in this painter the transparency of his colouring, which is warm and vigorous; and the truth of his perspective. His vessels are designed with accuracy and grace; and his small figures touched with spirit. He knew particularly well, how to represent the agitation of the waves, and their breakings ; his skies are clear; and his much varied clouds are in perfect motion. His storms are gloomy and horrid ; his fresh gales are most pleasingly animated; and his calms are in the greatest repose ; his clouds seem frequently to vanish into that air in which they fleet."—Rogers's Coll. of Drawings, folio, vol. ii. p. 126.
Other criticisms are amusing. " On estime en ce peintre le transparent de sa conteur, qui est dorée et vigoreux."—Descamps, tom. ii. p. 477.
"Tho younger Vandevelde, whose pictures are valued in proportion as they possess this excellence of a silver tint."—Reynolds, vol. iii. p. 159.—D.