The present painting possesses the lyrical qualities that are associated with Jacob van Ruisdael's greatest artistic achievements, despite the early dating to circa 1650. By contrasting the brooding sky with the dark, motionless oak trees and water the artist creates a narrative almost without human involvement -- the small figure in the mid-ground (thought by Waagen to be the artist) is the only human presence and is dwarfed by the surrounding nature. The somber tonality of the painting was noted by Bode as early as 1872, and has developed further with time. Ruisdael returned to this pleasing composition in a drawing comprising many of the same elements, which is in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam (Slive, no. D.8).