Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Ludolf Backhuysen I (Dutch, 1630-1708)

Currently on View in H215
Image Licensing

Calm and assured, Christ sits among his anxious disciples in a boat practically engulfed by waves. Though the weather menaces—the soot-colored clouds forecast torrential rains, and the fierce winds tear loose the sail’s rigging—the rays of sunlight at the upper left portend Christ’s command for the waves to subside. With this simple but dramatic composition, Backhuysen illustrates the power of faith.

Backhuysen was one of the leading painters of seascapes in the late 17th century. His earliest biographer reported that he often put to sea when a storm threatened in order to observe the changing weather conditions.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Ludolf Backhuysen I (Dutch, 1630-1708)
creation date
oil on canvas
23 x 28-1/2 in.
approximately 34-1/2 x 39-1/2 x 3 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
signed and dated: L.BAKH. / 1695
accession number
credit line
Marian and Harold Victor Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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