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In this Scandinavian scene the artist has effectively merged two pictorial genres: landscape and seascape. To the left a bay, with three Dutch ships at anchor, opens towards the horizon under a lightly clouded sky. On the right, wooded rocks rise towards a town on top of a hill. The landscape consists of hills and steep valleys dotted with coniferous trees leading down to a rocky foreshore. Between the coniferous trees, a waterfall rushes down a ravine and under a rough wooden bridge towards the beach. On the foreshore fishermen, who have pulled their pinks up on the sand, are selling their catch to the crowd which has gathered to meet them. On the far right a gentleman, his wife, child and maid are haggling with a fisherman over the purchase of a fish. Several figures and a heavily laden donkey are crossing the bridge above.
The imaginary Scandinavian scenery is based on the compilation of carefully studied natural elements which the contemporary spectator would have understood as either exotic or foreign simply by their non-Dutch character and without any demand on topographical accuracy. The trees, rocks and buildings are based on drawings by Roeland Savery. Willaerts had access to Savery's drawings as a result of their close mutual acquaintance after 1614. Savery worked at the Bohemian Court in Prague from 1603 to 1613. From there he brought back drawings to Utrecht. The drawings depicted villages, local costumes, landscapes as well as Prague castle.
oil on panel
H 63.5 x W 101.6 cm