By the 1870s, the entrepreneur and banker Barthold Suermondt (1818–1887) had amassed one of the most important private collections of Old Master paintings and drawings in Germany. This exhibition displays twenty Netherlandish drawings from Suermondt’s collection which take life near the water as their theme. The advantageous geographical location, an impressive fleet of seafaring ships, and a deliberate toll policy allowed the Dutch to control almost the entire shipping trade to the continent by the beginning of the 17th century. The artists of this period expressed their fascination with seafaring in their works, and simultaneously mythologized the theme of seafaring.Water also played an important economic role in the inland regions of the Netherlands. Rivers and canals, dykes and bridges characterise the landscape to this day. Even views from the distance as seen in the works of Pieter de With and Philips Koninck include sailboats and barges on the waterways. Artists seldom depict the water uninhabited. Anglers, fishermen, and bargemen populate the rivers and canals in the works of Jan van Goyen, Adriaen Verboom, and Jan van de Cappelle. Drawbridges, locks, and weirs in drawings by Anthonie van Borssom, Gerard Ter Borch, and Simon de Vlieger also pay tribute to the Dutch ability to live in harmony with water.