The subject of the painting is the dirge for a sailor lost at sea. In an island house, women and children are wailing, seated around a red cap, all that is left of the lost sailor. The tragic figure of the father is seated on the far right, face down. An impromptu iconostasis has been set up on a chair on the right. The stool, thrown on the floor, symbolises the absence of the lost sailor. The scene is full of drama. Rendered in simplified brushwork and diluted paint, it proves the great artist's skill in drawing, composition and expression.