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Abraham Storck was a Dutch landscape and marine painter. Like his father and three brothers, all artists, he used the name Sturckenburch and only changed it to Storck around 1688. Considered the best of them all, he lived and worked in Amsterdam where he entered the Guild of St Luke before establishing an independent studio. Its prolific production of fashionable harbour scenes and topographical views required the employment of assistants, and this contributed to an uneven quality in his works. Other artists had significant influence on him. He seems to have learned the detailed portrayal of ships from the van de Veldes and modelled some of his battle and winter scenes on Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten.
In Storck’s paintings prominence is typically given to vessels; their large silhouettes fill a greater part of the composition and are complemented by considerable human activity, be it military action, whale fishing or other staffage. Storck also produced colourful depictions of marine parades. One such painting commemorates the ‘Mock Battle Staged for Peter the Great on the River IJ’ (Nederlands Historisch Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam) on the occasion of the Tsar’s visit to Holland in 1697. Views of Mediterranean ports are yet another popular subject he pursued. The architecture of his Italian scenes and the colour schemes he employed suggest that he relied on his imagination, and perhaps prints, rather than actual visits to the South.
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