Fishermen on the beach
Canvas, 28.5 x 34.5 cm; monogrammed
Acquired in 1949; inv. 6103
Like Jan van de Cappelle (cf.
no. 56), the silk mercer Jacob Esselens probably painted as a hobby, but his work, too, was of an amazingly high standard for an amateur. He concentrated almost exclusively on landscape but his work is remarkably wide-ranging within the genre. Nowadays the best known are his beach scenes, like this painting, in which he succeeds in capturing the pale tones of the dry beach magnificently in paint without sacrificing the vitality of the staffage, which was always a group of fisherman selling their catch.