The large painting was a risky undertaking for a young and poor artist. But here we have a manifesto on life in the Faroe Islands in a harsh nature and under a stern God. The painting is done in the dark and coarse Expressionism of the 1930s with an element of Symbolism.
Drowning at sea and tuberculosis claimed many lives in those days but this return from funeral is more than just reporting. The gloomy darkness reduces the surroundings to almost nothing. The faces are grave masks and the group forms an elevated triangular composition. Everything has an austerity and sublimity as in old religious art.
At a higher level this passage becomes a voyage through life with the mourners heading across the dark ocean towards their own grave.