Rare etching of a naval scene engraved published by Pierre Drevet.
The etching shows several ships weathering the high seas, with two different flags flying.
Reinir Zeeman's imprint (Seeman) appears in the lower left, and this etching is most often attributed to him. Others disagree and purport that this, and nine other etchings, were done after Zeeman. The misspelling of Zeeman as Seeman is uncharacteristic.
During a time when the Dutch commercial empire was expanding across the globe, Reinier Nooms was a highly esteemed painter, draftsman, and internationally recognized graphic artist who specialized in maritime subjects. Although it is uncertain exactly when he was born, it is believed to be in either 1623 or 1624, presumably in Amsterdam, to parents whose names remain unknown. Nooms likely received artistic training in Amsterdam, although his teacher's identity is unknown. His earliest known work is a drawing from 1643, created when he was 19 or 20, which portrays the rear of Amsterdam's Old City Hall and is housed in the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg.
Nooms's unique artistic specialization and his use of the signatures R. Zeeman or Reinier Zeeman (which translates to "sailor" or "seaman") strongly suggest that he was both an artist and a professional sailor. He utilized his knowledge of ships to create images that are incredibly precise and identifiable, depicting specific vessels, settings, and activities in ports and aboard ships. His paintings often feature a blue-gray tonality, enlivened by his skilled use of light and a restrained use of bright colors, with occasional touches of gold adorning his ships. White highlights bring his figures to life, and the undulating surfaces of the water are activated. Nooms also maintained a clear overall form while subtly directing the viewer's attention to the painting's focal point.