Johannes Christiaan Schotel was a painter who completely devoted himself to seascapes. The depiction of ships was his specialty together with rough seas and looming skies. He was a student of Martinus Schouman (1770-1848), a painter also known for his seascapes.
The work of Schotel was a continuation of the Dutch seventeenth century seascape painters such as Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611-1693) and Ludolf Bakhuyzen (1630-1708).
This capital painting depicts a large war ship surrounded by smaller sloops. Schotel signed this painting on the buoy floating on the lower left.
The clients of Schotel consisted of royal houses, institutions, art dealers and very prominent collectors at home and abroad such as Tsar Nicolas I, Anna Paulowna Oranje-Nassau and Willem I van Oranje Nassau. The back of the painting bears a family crest which belongs to Théodore-Joseph-Marie Ghislain (1807-1855), knight de Coninck, born 21 January 1807 in Bruge. He was mayor of Merkem, and knight in the order of Leopold. He was an avid art collector and devoted a large part of his life to buying paintings of old and new masters, including this capital painting by Johannes Christiaan Schotel.