Dated by Klaus Ertz to the early 1620s, this is one of a group of winter landscapes that he defined in his 1988 catalogue raisonné of the artist's works by their mutual inclusion of a single large tree in the foreground. Other examples, all dated by Dr. Ertz to the later 1620s, include the Winter landscape with a hunter, with staffage by Sebastiaen Vrancx, in the collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Vaduz; that formerly with Galerie Leegenhoek, Paris; and that formerly with de Boer, Amsterdam, also with staffage by Jan Breughel II. The present work, although probably closest to the Liechtenstein picture, displays a sophistication of composition - particularly in its carefully intercrossed receding paths (a favoured device of de Momper) - that gives more effectively than the others a sense of distance and space within the work.
Although best known amongst his contemporaries for his mountainous views - which earned the painter the sobriquet 'pictor montium' inscribed beneath his portrait in Van Dyck's Iconography (c. 1632-44) - it is arguably for his winter landscapes that de Momper is now most highly regarded. The general theme of the winter landscape was one that had been famously pioneered by Pieter Bruegel I, and was in turn to be developed by the next generation of northern landscapists - artists such as Adrian van de Venne, Denis van Alsloot, Jan Brueghel I, Lucas van Valckenborch and de Momper himself. As noted, however, by Ertz, op. cit., it was largely de Momper who was the inventor of what may be described as the genre landscape, most frequently employed in his oeuvre in winter village landscapes, which Ertz described as 'das vielleicht Wichtigste des Momperschen Wirkens.'
This painting is a fine example of that development, datable to the mid-1610s and the 1620s. It is defined by the increasing emphasis placed upon the buildings and people within de Momper's landscapes - perhaps one of the primary reasons for his consistently employing the finest staffage painters for his works - changing from mere accessories to the broader landscape to the real focus of the work. Perhaps the finest examples of the genre are the four paintings in de Momper's series of The Four Seasons in the Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, datable to shortly after 1615, and of which the depiction of Autumn is comparable in composition to the present work.
Dr. Ertz (loc. cit., p. 580) also notes with regard to the present picture that the staffage may be the work of Jan Brueghel I.