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During the 1600s, Holland’s ocean ports teemed with fishing and trading ships. Amazingly, the tiny country’s merchant fleet was almost as large as the rest of maritime Europe’s combined.

Dutch society prized seascapes and valued accurate renderings of all types and sizes of watercraft that frequented their shores. The more detail, the better.

Everyday marine life was en vogue and it wasn’t long before this genre of nautical paintings made its way to hand crafted and hand painted Delft Blue tiles. One of the reasons the sea was a favorite topic is the fact that Holland depended upon it for trade (and considerable wealth), battled with it for new land, and battled on it with competing nations.

A prime example is Willem van de Velde the Elder’s The naval battle against the Spaniards near Dunkerque 18 February 1639, which depicts the Dutch naval forces destroying the Spanish armada and establishing Dutch global naval supremacy.

Stunning Seascapes—A Popular Genre for National Pride

It’s no surprise the nautical theme was tremendously popular, representing another symbol of national pride taken to new heights by Dutch artists. Countless pictures of sea battles told the stories of a Dutch navy at the peak of its glory.

Today, however, it’s usually the more tranquil seascape scenes that appear on hand crafted and hand painted Delft tiles. Ships are frequently pictured at sea, and nautical drawings are often detailed to the point where vessels can be identified as naval or one of the many other government ships.

Other popular nautical scenes featured on hand crafted and hand painted Delft tiles include a beach or harbor viewpoint, or a view across an estuary, while many artists also specialized in river scenes, with less focus on the watercraft as the subject.

Hand Crafted and Hand Painted Delft Tiles Featuring One Part Land, One Part Sea

It’s worthy of noting that the nautical genre naturally shares much with the landscape genre, and in developing the depiction of the sky the two go hand-in-hand. Among the landscape artists that also painted beach and river scenes are Jan Porcellis, Simon de Vlieger, Jan van de Cappelle, Hendrick Dubbels and Abraham Storck. It’s likely their work is the inspiration for the artists of today that produce hand crafted and hand painted Delft earthenware featuring both seascape and landscape genres.

Delft Tiles—Your One-Stop-Shop for Hand Crafted and Hand Painted Nautical Delft Blue Tiles

Delft Tiles serves as your trusted resource for a vast range of traditional hand crafted and hand painted Dutch Delft nautical tiles of the highest quality. Our includes Nautical Tiles and Murals, as well as Classic Field Tiles, Delft Blue Tiles & Panels, Custom & Special Tiles, and Antique Delft Tiles—to name just a few. And because we are world-class Delft tile experts, we provide exceptional consultation service—to help you find the nautical tile scenes that are the perfect fit for your needs.

To learn more about Delft Tiles, or to place an order, please visit our or contact us at:

Tel: +31 (0) 6 1600 5000 or +31 (0) 6 1600 3366
USA: 011 31 6 1600 5000 or 011 31 6 1600 3366

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