The devil and death seldom appear together in Simberg’s work. However, Travel Companions is one of the few exceptions. The mood of the work is both tranquil and uncanny. What is going on here?
Hugo Simberg loved the sea and sailing, and this fantasy scene contains elements he was familiar with. The Simbergs’ summer residence in Niemenlautta was surrounded by the sea on three sides, with a shoreless expanse of sea opening up towards the south. Simberg had a sailing boat with a sail whose upper part was red. The name of the boat was Refanut, and on long summer days it was used to sail to nearby islands for picnics.