The present watercolor is one of a series of fifteen known depictions of a farmstead sheltered under a canopy of trees along the river Gein. Professor Welsh notes that "The considerable variety in times of day and weather or light conditions depicted precludes comparisons with the systematic approach of Monet. Instead one might consider this more a variations-on-a-theme approach, as Mondrian had sometimes practiced, beginning with the Polder landscapes of 1900-1901 and as he would continue to explore within his Cubist and Abstract periods" (op. cit., p. 327).
The primary compositional device in this series is the reflection of a group of trees in the slow-moving river. In the present watercolor, the water is placid, and the canopy of trees is reflected mirrorlike on its surface. The resulting symmetry transforms the naturalism of the scene, and the bluish, twilight palette exerts strongly symbolist overtones. Mondrian's early landscape manner owes much to the prevailing tastes among the Dutch Hague School of painters; however, the latter were "concerned with depicting light-effects, whereas Mondrian's intention was again to charge a realistic landscape with meaning, with a 'mood' transcending what was depicted" (H. Henkels, Piet Mondrian, from Figuration to Abstraction, exh. cat., Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 1988, p. 36).
This painting was among a group of works acquired by the well-known Amsterdam physcian Dr. J. van der Hoeven Leonhard, who appears to have been in contact with the artist from 1898 to 1912. The painting was very likely given to Dr. Leonhard in lieu of payment, a normal practice for Mondrian.