This painting was probably painted in Amsterdam, and is based on sketches made by the artist on the coast at Zandvoort. It was exhibited at the Salon in 1861 and at the Royal Academy, London in the following year. The composition of the painting shows the influence of crowd scenes by Daumier, while its mood of sympathy for the trials of peasant life is redolent of Millet.
Against a darkened sky the body of the drowned fisherman is carried along the foreshore by his companions. The figures seem small in relation to the expanse of sea and land, and those in the foreground, presumably the man's wife and children, appear weighed down with grief.
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