A bright afternoon along the coast of the Netherlands sets this marine narrative by Dommersen. No less than four fishing crews have chosen to land near the Tholen Lighthouse to sell their day's catch. The foremost crew has captured the small market of women waiting across the stream, and two masts denote the presence of others just beyond the lighthouse. The prospect of quickly selling the herring and cod in the fourth ship's hold seems slight today.
Dommersen, a Dutch national, embraced his homeland for its vast network of inlets, channels and rivers. The Netherlands hold a great shoreline to area ratio, and the low elevation along the North Sea ensures fine tidal access to much of it. The country's dominant economic industry has always been fishing. These crews may sail along the Ooster Schelde waterway and arrive at the town of Bergen Op Zoom, where the tall church spire rise out of the horizon five miles distant.
Using tight realism with a focus on accurate scale and exacting reflective qualities, the artist excels in presenting the local character of the land. From the uniform white cloth bonnets and colorful fabrics of the women to the deep-rouge of the sail cloth, it all accents the central feature of the stone lighthouse. Note the old fortification wall the structure is built upon, a remnant from the days when holland warred with her neighbors, usually the English. By this day, the whale-oil light atop the exterior staircase would welcome the British ships and all other visitors.
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