Starting in 1908, Jacoba van Heemskerck spent every summer in Domburg, a beach resort in the Dutch province of Zeeland, where she stayed at Villa Loverendale, the home of her friend Marie Tak van Poortvliet. These summers on the island of Walcheren, amid woods and curative salt water, were good for her fragile health. Indeed, her decision to stay there may well have been motivated not only by the beauty of the landscape, but also by the presence of Dr Mezger, a prominent physician who had spent every summer in Domburg since 1874, helping to make the village an extremely popular summer holiday resort for the international aristocracy as well as for artists. In the summer of 1915, Jacoba van Heemskerck worked on a number of large-scale paintings. Like many of her works, Bild no. 23 features semi-abstract images of sailing ships. On this subject, Marie Tak van Poortvliet wrote, "The motifs seem so simple; they are all taken from the things that presented themselves to the artist's eye when looking around her. Here she shows herself in close contact with the atmosphere of her native country: the sea, dunes, boats and sails are the forms she chooses, but they are transformed so as to grow into one mighty conception, by which she could give utterance to the idea that rose before the spiritual eye."