The present picture is to be dated to circa 1670, towards the end of the artist's career. Characteristic are the rather flat rendering of the waterfall - as in the picture of the Rijksmuseum (P.J.J. van Thiel et. al., All the Paintings, etc., 1976, p.487, inv. n0C210, ill.) and the View of Bentheim with a waterfall, sold in these rooms, 7 May 1996, lot 81, ill., - and the open landscape in the distance. Light is evenly distributed, not to dramatic effect, as in the 1650's and 1660's, but to convey an idyllic impression. The waterfall was introduced as a motif in Dutch painting by Allart van Everdingen in the early 1650's. He had travelled to Norway and Sweden circa 1643/4, where he had made numerous sketches. Ruisdael took up the theme circa 1660, mostly, as in the work by Everdingen, in upright format, thus enhancing the violence of the splashing water. The quality of his waterfalls was praised by Houbraken in his Groote Schouburgh in 1721, III, pp.65: "Hy schilderde inlandsche en buitenlandsche landgezigten, maar inzonderheid zulke, daar men 't water van d'een op de andere Rots, ziet neder storten, eindelyk met geruis (waar op zyn naam schynt te zinspeelen) in en door de dalen, of laagtens zig verspreid: en wist de sprenkelingen, of het schuimende water door het geweldig geklets op de rotzen, zoo natuurlyk dun en klaardoorschynende te verbeelden, dat het niet anders dan natuurlyk water scheen te wezen" (He painted Dutch and foreign landscape views, but especially those in which the water is seen pouring down from one rock to another, and finally with great noise (which seems to be a play upon his name) down through the valleys or spraying out. He could depict water splashing and foaming as it dashed uon the rocks, so naturally delicately and tranaparently that it appears to be real) (P. Sutton, Masters of 17th Century Dutch Landscape Painting, 1987, p.451, note 8, under n085). Judging from the numerous depictions of waterfalls in Ruisdael's oeuvre, the theme must have been highly popular among 17th century collectors. J. Bruyn, "Towards a Scriptural Reading" in Masters of 17th Century Dutch Landscape Painting, 1987, p.99, has tried to establish the underlying meaning of the apparently "realistic" scene, thus explaining it's popularity. By comparing the literary sources he tentatively concludes that 17th century viewers might have interpreted the theme as a speculum naturae or as a vanitas. Thus the flowing water stands for life itself while the church in the distance is to be regarded as a symbol of salvation.