WILLEM GILLISZ. KOOL (Haarlem c. 1608/1609 – Haarlem 1666)
A Fish Market on the Beach
oil on canvas
25 x 33 ¼ inches (63.5 x 84.5 cm.)
Willem Kool was a Haarlem artist of beach and landscape views, reminiscent of Jan van Goyen, due to a brownish or monochrome tonality, as well as the assurance with which the staffage is introduced. Kool displays excellent aerial perspective and for this reason at times includes prominent buildings in the composition.
Our painting is a charming quayside scene of peasants gathering with their goods to sell to the gentry on horseback. The composition is filled with interesting figures, fishing boats, and animals, creating never ending visual stimulation. The peasants sit and stand with their fish to sell the day’s catch, one man smokes his pipe while a woman holds a basket on her head. In the background, two men fix their wagon and another group of men tend to their boat, while the others rest and chat about the day’s events. The local village can be seen in the background with the church spire protruding over the rooftops and overlooking the seascape.