08. Noord 0, Republic at Sea: View of the River IJ and the Arsenal

This painting by Reinier Nooms shows part of the port of Amsterdam in 1664. On the right of the canvas, we can see the naval arsenal of the Admiralty of Amsterdam, nowadays the National Maritime Museum. From rafts in the water, people are working industriously, conducting maintenance and finishing the construction of new ships. A number of vessels have been tilted onto their sides to allow the seams of the ships' hulls to be made watertight with rope and tar. Admiral de Ruyter’s brand-new flagship, the Spiegel, can be seen centre right. War with the English was to break out again one year later, in 1665, and these vessels would form part of the Dutch fleet. It is interesting to note that Michiel de Ruyter actually lived opposite the arsenal and this scene corresponds roughly to the view he would have had from his home. Nooms, a former seaman, painted various views of the port of Amsterdam and together they give a detailed, almost 360-degree picture of the harbour at that time.

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The National Maritime Museum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum) shows the strong connection between the maritime world and society as a whole, and more specifically the impact of this on the lives of many individuals. The collection of The National Maritime Museum is one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in the world with approximately 400,000 objects, including paintings, models of ships, navigation instruments, and maps of the world. Discover 500 years of Dutch Maritime history as well as its strong links to today’s society and the society of the future.