Alexander Rothaug (1870–1946) was a Viennese painter and illustrator. Following an apprenticeship as a sculptor, he studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He subsequently worked in Munich as an illustrator for the humoristic weekly magazine Fliegende Blätter. Back in Vienna, he derived the themes for his paintings from Greek and German mythology. The works are characterized by pathos and heroism, as well as a masterful depiction of the human figure. He exhibited equal skill in his romantic renderings of nature, and his art is both sensual and poetic. In this work he depicted a naked mermaid, sitting on a high rock, turned away from the beholder with her hair fluttering in the wind. In the depth below her, the water is spuming and hitting the rocks. The figure might be The Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s (1805–1875) eponymous fairy tale.