An assortment of seafood is displayed on a fish stall. Stacked to the left are two copper bowls from pairs of weighing scales. Part of a knife can be seen bottom centre, as though ready to be grasped at any moment. The fishmonger has stopped cleaning the fish and is absent from his stand. Although paintings such as this appear to be realistic representations of fish stalls (naer het leven, or from life), that is not the case. Van Beijeren undoubtedly made on-the-spot sketches, which he worked up in the studio. Such paintings were intended for the kitchens of private houses.