Born in Haarlem but working in Amsterdam from 1660, Jan Wijnants was one of the preeminent Dutch artists of the second half of the 17th century who began moving away from the restricted palette that dominated his countrymen's landscapes of the 1620s and 1630s. His paintings are predominately landscapes and dunescapes, following the tradition established by Pieter de Molijn, Philips Wouwerman, Jacob van Ruisdael and others. The use of a fallen tree trunk in the present composition is a device often associated with Van Ruisdael; the juxtaposition of a verdant countryside with dead wood would have alluded to the transience of life.
Wijnants' work greatly appealed to the 18th-century English taste for Dutch landscapes, and his pictures influenced artists such as François Boucher and Thomas Gainsborough. The staffage in the present work has been attributed to Johannes Lingelbach (1622-1674), who often collaborated with Wijnants.