Jacob van Ruisdael
The tones of this dramatic Baroque seascape, with its whirling clouds, heaving sea and ghostly small white sailboats on the horizon, fade away into infinity. The painting appears to be realistic, yet the resplendent horizontal bands of light in the fore and background are illusory. The vast slate-coloured sky sets the tone of the painting, contrasted to the horizontal dark brown bands of the land and sea. The staffage figures of the fishermen on the left symbolize the littleness of man in comparison with the might of nature. The impending storm, tonally achieved, evokes a feeling of anxiety.