In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week: Johannes Christiaan Schotel, “Low Tide Gun Salute from a Dutch Man o’War.”
Although the Netherlands experienced a Golden Age in the 17th century — both artistically and economically — painter Johannes Christiaan Schotel is regarded as one of the pioneering men of the nation’s second Golden Age, in the 19th century.
Guided by the principles of his time, namely Romanticism and Historicism, Schotel was among a wealth of artists charged with the task of presenting the Netherlands as a confident naval nation, something he accomplished with stunning results. Simpson Galleries reports the artist, originally a yarn manufacturer, began to explore painting around 1805, eventually becoming a member of the prestigious Pictura Society. Although Schotel would explore a number of genres and subjects during his career, his most celebrated works focus on the sea.
By 1822, Schotel was considered by his contemporaries to be the most important painter of the sea and river scenes. His reputation would eventually earn Schotel numerous titles and awards, as he traveled to France and other European nations for commissioned paintings. Via Simpson Galleries, “Schotel’s large scale marine oil paintings are sought after on the international market … yet, until now, the paintings sold on the international market have dwarfed in comparison to this lot, which may be the largest of Schotel’s paintings to public knowledge.”
Headlining Simpson Galleries’ September 11 “Fine Art & Antiques Session II” in Houston, Texas, is Schotel’s “Low Tide Gun Salute from a Dutch Man o’ War” — a magnificent maritime painting in superb condition. As suggested above, the painting is monumental in size — perhaps the largest in Schotel’s oeuvre. Populated with several figures and numerous ships, the low horizon line and epic clouds imbue the scene with a sense of grandeur and majesty, undoubtedly a characteristic sought by Netherlandish patrons.
Auction estimates are between $80,000 and $120,000. To view the full catalogue, visit Simpson Galleries.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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