Stern executed this painting during a three-month visit to Madeira in 1931 and it has been regarded as one of her finest oils since its creation. This was a difficult period in the artist's life; anti-semitism was on the rise in her native Germany, and her marriage was on the verge of collapse. Shortly after arriving on the island, she suffered a nervous breakdown and many of her Madeiran paintings reflect
her anguished mental state. The fisherman in this painting is no exception; his careworn expression and dark circled eyes convey an exhaustion that is not merely physical.

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