Johan Hendrik van Mastenbroek
(Rotterdam 1875 – 1945)
“Wiermaaien” te Breezand
Signed and dated 1932 lower right
Signed and titled on a label on the stretcher
Oil on canvas, 71.1 x 130.7 cm
Private collection, the Netherlands
The depicted barge is marked with ‘WR’ for Wieringen, a city in the upper north of the Netherlands. The depicted vessel was used for Wiermaaien; fishing on the shallow mudflats for seaweed or eelgrass. Dried eelgrass was used as an insulating material and filling for mattresses. As the material was rare to find, Wieringer fishermen even went as far as Breezand to collect the eelgrass. The Afsluitdijk, which was being built at that time, is visible in the background.
The study for this painting in black chalk is part of the collection of the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen.