The similarities in format, size, style and theme suggest that this and the following lot were intended to complement each other, and some have conjectured that they are the right- and left-hand elements of a panorama on either side of A View of Amsterdam from the North-West (B. 210). In the present work, the distant views on either side of the cottage juxtapose town and country, urban and rural life. In fact three elements are being juxtaposed - the rich city on the left, the rich country manor house on the right, and the humble country existence in the centre. Although realistic, it is undoubtedly a work of Rembrandt's imagination, created in his studio from various motifs he observed in the surrounding countryside. It is generally accepted that the town at the left in the distance is Amsterdam, but there is some dispute as to the identity of the substantial country house at the. The consensus appears to be that it is the ruins of Kostverloren House.
Landscape with a Cottage and Haybarn has always been one of Rembrandt's most famous and highly prized landscapes. An indication of its popularity is that White and Boon list no fewer than five etched copies of it. It required a particularly skilful manipulation of the etching process, varying the biting from the darkest lines of the cottage to the lightest on the far horizon. It is these lightest lines that wear most quickly, and in many impressions the distant townscape is faint and indistinct. The present impression shows none of this wear.