Van de Cappelle observes the reflections of gray clouds in the rippling waters of shores and harbors. The blue sky and the storms as well as wars and shipwrecks do not concern him. Like Heda in Haarlem for still lifes, he follows with great realism the complex paths of light.
He does not belong to any guild and therefore in principle does not have the right to sell his art. Yet very few of his own paintings are found in the fabulous inventory of his deceased estate. He certainly had a practice of exchange with the greatest masters. His art evolves little, making it very difficult to date his works.
He is the only person whose portrait was painted by both Rembrandt and Hals. He owned more than 500 drawings by Rembrandt, acquired in the opportunities of the financial difficulties of the artist, plus 1300 by de Vlieger, 900 by Avercamp and 400 by van Goyen. His collection of nearly 200 paintings included Dutch, Flemish and German top masters.
On January 30 in New York, Sotheby's sells an oil on panel 62 x 83 cm painted by van de Cappelle probably in the 1650s. It is estimated $ 4M, lot 61. An oil on canvas 48 x 53 cm dated 1653 has been sold for £ 3.6M including premium by Christie's on July 8, 2005.
In the same next sale and from the same collection, other rare paintings by independent or dilettante artists are offered : one by Joachim Wtewael, previously discussed in this column, and two by Jacobus Vrel that I shall consider shortly.
SOLD for $ 4.8M including premium