Michael Ancher was captivated by the fishermen from Skagen. They put their lives in danger when they fished, or when they acted as rescuers. Here, a group of fishermen is seen pushing a boat out into a very turbulent sea. Their families and friends stand on the beach, probably hoping for the best.
In this painting, Ancher focuses on the heroic aspect of the fishermen’s job, and the seriousness of the situation is reflected in the faces of the fishermen. At the end of the 1800s, many pictures of fishermen and farmers were exhibited at the exhibition venues in Europe’s major cities. The inhabitants of cities often had romantic notions of life out in the countryside. Although they did not want to live as farmers or fishermen themselves, farming and fishing communities and their surroundings represented something authentic and unspoiled, which inhabitants of the cities longed for.