The story of the miraculous catch was a tale of enduringly popular appeal during the Renaissance. The composition of the present lot is based directly on Joachim Beuckelaer’s interpretation of the episode, which is now in the Getty Museum, Malibu; signed and dated 1563, it shows Saint Peter talking to Christ in the left background, together with the other disciples pulling in their nets, while baskets on the shore overflow with fish to the astonishment of the gathered crowd. Beuckelaer’s invention is typically rich in narrative detail and northern realism. As with his renowned Antwerp market scenes, he brings together a biblical episode with representations of the everyday, see for example his canvas depicting A Fish Market with the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, one of the set of Four Elements from 1569 (London, National Gallery). The impressive scale of the present lot, a shade over two metres in length, and on a branded Antwerp panel, matches the dimensions of the Getty picture (also on panel) to within a few inches and follows all its details with a high degree of accuracy, down to the placement of each mussel shell in the left foreground.