DUTCH SCHOOL (18TH CENTURY)
“Arrival of a Dutch East Indiaman in Table bay”
Oil on canvas, 37 x 45.5 cm
In the flag of the ship is the monogram of the VOC Amsterdam Chamber and on its stern the ships name or the name of the artist, unfortunately illegible. In the earliest and most important view of the Dutch settlement at the Cape by Aernout Smit (1641-1710) in 1683, based on carefully prepared maps and drawings, the Castle was depicted with what was known as the “sea-gate”, the original entrance to the Castle facing the beach.
The unknown painter of the present painting clearly had never visited the Cape of Good Hope, but had based his observations of the geography and the buildings on the 17th-century Smit painting adding an 18th-century ship to the scene. By that time the original 17th-century gateway had been replaced by the existing entrance from the Parade erected by Governor Simon van der Stel in 1684.