Mesdag was one of the leading figures of the The Hague School. He was fascinated by the sea and he remained faithful to this subject the whole length of his career. Mesdag is considered the Dutch marine painter par excellence. This painting depicts a dynamic scene of considerable dimensions with sailing vessels near the coast and an imposing sky. This large canvas is a perfect example of the natural and atmospheric palette so typical for paintings of the The Hague School-artists, done in broad brushstrokes but also with an eye for detail.