Signed and dated A.B.R SPEECK 1634. The painting depicts a view over the Danish whaling cookery on the island of Danskoya at Spitsbegen, Svalbard. The cookery was run by the two brothers Johannes and Gothard Braem, both of them depicted at the down center of the painting. The motif shows the full process of the whale-oil industry during the first part of the 17th century. At the far left the actual hunt is being conducted from ships bearing the Danish flag and the flag of the order Den væpnede arms, while the center and right focus on the different steps of producing the whale-oil, with the two brothers making a deal with a merchant in the center of the foreground.
The struggle for control over the whaling industry was of huge economical and political importance to both Denmark and the Netherlands. This is illustrated by the reproduction of Danish Whale Station in 1639 by Cornelis de Man entitled Whale-Oil Factory of the Amsterdam Chamber of the Northern Company at Smerenburg, now in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In this painting by de Man the motif and composition are the same, but all signs of the factory being Danish are here replaced with Dutch flags and ships.