A crowd on deckThe watercolor pictured here painted by Jacob Spin in 1850 of two Dutch barques approaching Manila on March 31, 1849 comes up for sale at an Indonesian art auction at the Venduehuis in The Hague on November 18, 2020 [1]. It has been around in the art market for some time, having been sold at Christies in 2011 [2]. From a marine painting point of view the work is of modest quality and interest, although taken as a whole the hundreds of ship paintings made by Jacob Spin of Amsterdam, a sailor turned artist, are a wonderful encyclopedia of global trade and the maritime history of the Netherlands in the early 19th century. A recently established foundation seems to be patiently working on a complete catalogue of his work [3]. Rotterdam barques Reijerwaard and Gouverneur Generaal Rochussen, commanded by captains Wierikx and Rijken, arriving in Manila in the Philippines with over 300 Spanish deportees of the 1848 uprisings. Watercolor by Jacob Spin (1850). What captured our interest however, is the presence on deck of an unusual Delacroixian crowd of people, which made us…

  1. ‘Lot 1,’ Venduehuis, Indonesian Art Sale, 18 November 2020[]
  2. ‘Lot 52,’ Christies Amsterdam, 20 September 2011[]
  3. www.jacobspin.nl[]