The figures in this crowd, one with crossed braces and at least one other in a characteristic sou’wester hat, appear to be fishermen. For other examples, see the Introduction.
As discussed there, this is one of the subjects of figures by the sea which Ian Warrell tentatively suggested as linked to Brighton around 1827, while noting that they could equally well show scenes in England or France on other occasions.1
See Warrell 1989, pp.120, 123 note 114.
Blank; inscribed by John Ruskin in pencil ‘311 | O’ bottom right; inscribed in pencil ‘54–68’ top left.