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Adriaen van Salm worked as a schoolmaster and textile merchant in Delfshaven near Rotterdam. He also specialised in pen-painting, a branch of Dutch seventeenth-century maritime painting that experimented with the pictorial effects of blurring the boundaries between painting and the more linear graphic arts. Such scenes were executed in grisaille, a black and white rendering.
During the seventeenth century the herring fishery formed one of the pillars of the Dutch economy. Van Salm’s tackling of the theme reflects the industry’s importance, but at the same time the picture relates to the tradition of the undramatic Dutch seascape depicting everyday life in the North Sea, founded by artists such as Jan Porcellis in the first half of the seventeenth century.
late 17th C
oil & grisaille on panel
H 32 x W 39.5 cm