In 1885 Koester commenced his studies at the Academy of Karlsruhe under Carl Hoff and Claus Meyer. From 1886 onward the artist travelled extensively. In 1891 he visited the village of Klausen located in southern Tirol, Austria, where he met his future wife and established a winter home after finishing his studies.
In this early part of his career, Koester found inspiration in the mountainous landscape around him, creating dramatic, colourful works, such as the present composition, which are notable for their confident handling and bold composition. These works also show a profound understanding of light - qualities apparent in the dappled paintings which Koester created after setting up his Munich studio in 1898. These works almost exclusively featured his favoured motif of the duck (see lots 23 and 102), which he used as vehicle to express flashing colour, light and movement.
A variant of the present composition, entitled Abendsonne, is in the collection of the Neue Pinakothek, Munich.