This Italianate landscape can be dated alongside a small group of works painted by Aelbert Cuyp in around 1645, placing it at the very beginning of the painter’s artistic maturity. It is at this time that he became increasingly influenced by the sun-drenched effects of light, typical of Dutch Italianate landscape painters like Jan Both, Cornelis Saftleven and Herman van Swanevelt. As with many of the painter’s early Italian landscapes, the scene here is cast with a hazy orange sunlight, and shows shepherds and herdsmen with their livestock occupying a prominent place in the composition. The natural rock arch to the right is the only known instance of this motif in Cuyp’s work, though the device does appear in the work of his contemporaries, like Cornelis van Poelenburgh. Later in his oeuvre, from circa 1650 onwards, Cuyp began to simplify his landscapes, with his compositions often focusing on idyllic views of river banks, populated by herds of cattle.