Weissenbruch was regarded by his colleagues as one of the most important painters of the Hague School for his graceful rendering of cloudy skies and his atmospheric use of colour. His favourite subjects were seascapes with beaches, as well as landscapes with canals around Haarlem that offered long, distant views. With regard to composition and treatment of form, the artist was certainly inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch Old Masters, including Ruisdael, Vermeer and Potter. Fishing Boats dates from the time when Weissenbruch was executing his best work. The perfect compositional harmony, the lyrical colours, the purity of form and the lively brushwork are characteristic of that exceptional period.