Just north of The Hague, where Van der Haagen lived and worked from 1656, was the 'Haagse Bos', which the artist depicted in about thirty pictures and drawings. The drawings are all dated between 1652 en 1669 although the inscripitions as on the present lot were added at a later date.
Comparable drawings are in the Fondation Custodia, Institut Néerlandais, Paris (C. van Hasselt, Dessins de Paysagistes Hollandais du XVIIe Siècle, Paris, 1968/9, no. 1, pl. 133), and in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem (C.S. Ackley, M.C.C. Kersten, W.W. Robinson, C. van Tuyll van Serooskerken, From Michelangelo to Rembrandt, Master Drawings from the Teyler Museum, New York, 1989, no. 90). As Michiel Kersten notes (op.cit., p. 140) the drawings of the Haagse Bos '.. are remarkable for their treatment of light and shadow, with an animated rendering of the sunlight striking the foliage and their sense of depth, strengthened by the winglike structure of the composition, the dark foreground and the use of repoussoirs. This highly structured form of composition is characteristic of the 1660's.'. See also lot 218