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Lot 28: Cornelis Beelt (Haarlem c. 1660-before 1702)

Est: £10,000 GBP - £15,000 GBP
Christie'sApril 21, 2004London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


The embarkation of King Charles II at Scheveningen
oil on canvas
33 x 44 1/8 in. (83.8 x 112 cm.)
with old inscription 'W:SCHELLINKS Pinx t:' (on the stretcher) and on the reverse 'LXXVII'

Artist or Maker


We are grateful to Dr. Hans-Ulrich Beck for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs.

The subject was depicted by Beelt in three other known paintings: that in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. A2692); that signed and dated 1660 formerly with Galerie Marcus, Paris, January 1961; and that sold in these Rooms, 17 December 1985, lot 43. The present composition is very close to the latter work and to the Rijksmuseum picture; in addition, the horseman in the foreground is a favoured motif of the artist, recurring in several of his works including, for example, the Beach at Scheveningen in the Staatliches Museum, Schwerin (inv. no. 97).

The scene depicts King Charles II's embarkation from the beach of Scheveningen to the fleet commanded by Lord Sandwich that was to take him back to England for the Restoration. The events leading up to and including the day depicted - 23 May 1660 - were recorded in his diary by Samuel Pepys who, as Sandwich's secretary, was an eye-witness to the events. The arrival of the fleet had excited enormous interest and the crowds of people shown by Beelt were noted by Pepys (22 May) who described the shore as being 'so full of people... as that it was as black (which otherwise is white sand), as every one could stand by another.' Of the actual embarkation, he wrtoe that:

'In the morning came infinity of people on board from the King to go along with him. My Lord, Mr. Crew, and others, go on shore to meet the King as he comes off from shore, where Sir R. Stayner bringing His Majesty into the boat, I hear that His Majesty did with a great deal of affection kiss my Lord upon his first meeting. The King, with the two Dukes and Queen of Bohemia, Princess Royal, and Prince of Orange, came on board, where I in their coming in kissed the King's, Queen's, and Princess's hands, having done the other before. Infinite shooting off of the guns, and that in a disorder on purpose, which was better than if it had been otherwise. All day nothing but Lords and persons of honour on board, that we were exceeding full.'

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Auction Details

Old Master Pictures

April 21, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

8 King Street, St. James's, London, LDN, SW1Y 6QT, UK