Station: [13] Bernardus Johannes Blommers | Fish Auction on the Beach, Scheveningen, n. d.

Numerous people have gathered at the beach.Packed closely together, they stand around a boat in which a fisherman is peddling his freshly caught wares.It is once again time for a fish auction on the beach of Scheveningen!And Bernadus Johannes Blommers has presented the scene on a literally grand scale.

Coastal villages like Scheveningen, but also Katwijk aan Zee, Noordwijk aan Zee or Zandvoort, had no harbour at that time.Fish were thus sold directly in the knee-deep water of the beach, where the boats – the “bomschuit”, which feature a flat bottom instead of a keel – could be safely beached.There are many women among the potential buyers, and their white bonnets gleam among the muted tones that dominate all around them.Returning home from the auction, a stream of people carry their loads across the beach and back to the village, built directly among the dunes.Muted, greyish-brown tones suggest a hazy atmosphere.Nonetheless, the sun peeks out hesitantly from behind a thick carpet of clouds to immerse the scene in an understated, but varied play of light and shadow.  

Blommers studied at The Hague’s academy of drawing and was one of the leading representatives of the Hague School, which had developed into a centre of Dutch painting in the 1870s.These artists sought to depict the Dutch landscape, primarily around The Hague, with a particular eye for the simple life of the rural population.After a stay in Paris from 1870 to 1871, Blommers mostly worked in the area surrounding Scheveningen and Katwijk as well as North Brabant.