In the early 1840s Andreas Schelfhout was at the height of his artistic career and internationally acclaimed. Up to his death in 1870 he produced many masterpieces for which he received numerous golden medals at the yearly Tentoonstelling van Levende Meesters exhibitions.
From about 1830 Schelfhout often took the dunes near Haarlem as subject for his panoramic views. The influence of Dutch 17th century paintings can be discerned in these compositions. Although romantic in nature, emphasising the beauty of the natural world, the present painting also depicts a tiny steam train in the distance. A panorama of 1846 by Schelfhout, painted one year before the execution of the present lot, is one of the earliest examples from the 19th century in which industrial developments are portrayed (see: W. Laanstra, Andreas Schelfhout 1787-1870, Amsterdam 1995, p. 170, ill.). There are slight differences, such as subtle variations in colour and motif if one compares these paintings. Schelfhout's impressive technical ability is particularly apparent in the present lot with its peaceful dunes and exquisite detailing of the figures in the foreground, and a view of Haarlem in the distance.