The sensual, mannerist contortions of the couple in this scene encapsulate the story of the Siren to great effect. Her arms are outstretched in adoration whilst he escapes her deadly grasp. Coloration in this work is key with the warm tones of the sunlight falling at a diagonal through the work down the twisted torsos.
Jan, or Johann, Bernard Wittkamp was born in Reisenbeck in 1820 and studied under the tutelage of Nicaise de Keyser and Gustave Wappers. He submitted work in the Hague from Delft and also in Antwerp in the latter part of his career. A strong painter of history paintings his genre works are also notable and he is represented in Bremen, Ghent and the Hague.