This is an excellent example of van Goyen’s mature output painted in 1640 at a transitional moment that heralded the beginning of the most dynamic phase of his career. In 1637, van Goyen took a brief hiatus from painting and seems to have tried to make his fortune by speculating in the tulip trade. The venture was an unmitigated disaster, causing van Goyen to lose a great deal of money. Two years later, however, his fortunes had changed and he purchased a house on the Singelgracht in The Hague, where he had served as the head of the Guild of Saint Luke the year before. He was appointed to this position again in 1640. His arrival in the city initiated an astonishingly productive period. With the resumption of his work, van Goyen’s palette began to exhibit a silvery-grey tonality, which gave way at the beginning of the 1640s to a more monochromatic palette of subtly modulated yellow and brown hues, which characterise his so-called ‘tonal’ landscapes. This Wooded river landscape adopts the horizontal format that van Goyen favoured throughout the 1640s: the distant waters and the blue sky, filled with billowing, broadly painted clouds, recall earlier works of the late 1630s, like the Two Fishermen in the National Gallery, London, of 1638; while the buildings and calm, rippled waters of the river anticipate van Goyen’s landscapes of the 1640s. The human element, which played such a prominent role in his early work, is given a subordinate role in this composition, with the focus given instead to the depiction of space, light and atmosphere.