Van Kinsbergen, the subject of this portrait, first found fame as a junior officer in the Battle of Dogger Bank against England in 1781. Although the battle was indecisive, it was celebrated in the Netherlands as a victory and Van Kinsbergen was given a hero's reception. Van Kinsbergen had a varied career that began in the army and progressed via the Admiralty of Amsterdam to a position in the Russian navy. Once back in the Republic, he pleaded the case for reform of the Dutch fleet. And as an adviser to the stadhouder (the de facto head of state in the Republic), he was able to push through a number of smaller changes. Van Kinsbergen was later named Count of Dogger Bank and received numerous distinctions. In addition to his busy job at the Admiralty, Van Kinsbergen was involved in other fields such as philanthropy, philosophy, politics and science – a genuine Renaissance man. Hester Hooft, his wife, played an important role in financing all this activity. She was the daughter of the mayor, from a wealthy family and the owner of various properties in Amsterdam.
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.