Prominently in the foreground, a richly carved yacht sails towards the city in the background. The silhouette appears to correspond to that of Delfshaven, the large building on the right could then be that of the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie. High-ranking VOC officials preferred to travel in these luxuriously equipped ships which can be compared to the limousines of today. On the left we see a so-called poon, a ship that was mainly seen on the rivers of South Holland.
The large three-masted vessel in the middle is a merchantman, perhaps a “return ship” that maintained service between the Republic and Batavia. The ship on the right is also a freighter, a flute. This type of ship with its convex hull and narrow deck originated; in the seventeenth century; it had a large cargo area and could be sailed with a small crew.
Cornelisz Bouwmeester was the last painter to practice the art of making pen paintings. Pen paintings are basically pen and brush drawings on a specially prepared medium such as canvas, panel or parchment. Cornelisz Bouwmeester belonged to a group of pen painters of which Willem van de Velde the Elder, Ludolf Backhuysen, and the brilliant Casper van den Bos, who died at the age of 22, were the most important.