The artist (standing alone in the foreground, lower left, wearing a pilgrim's hat and staff) has condensed his vision into a bustling port, set against a vertiginous cityscape.
Rodolphe Bresdin completed his
last etching under arduous conditions: he was miserable, isolated
in Sèvres, and suffering from old age; as Henri Second relates in L'Art Moderne :
"Il a constamment mal aux yeux, et, à plusieurs reprises, il a été frappé de cécité complète..."
["His eyes are constantly sore, and, on several occasions, he was struck by complete blindness..."]
He nevertheless worked very hard to produce this print, making a number of quite detailed sketches (see Van Gelder, Vol. I, fig. 136 and 137, pp. 136-137; andVol. II, p. 148-150).