This beautiful winter scene is dated 1627 and is from the early period of the master. In that time, he was under the influence of Esaias van de Velde. There are countless drawings by Van Goyen, including sketch books. He probably based the paintings he produced in his studio on these observations from the countryside. Although the paintings appear to be painted on location in the countryside, they are nevertheless imagined scenes. Van Goyen's early landscapes are quite colourful and always contain wittily observed figures. A closer look reveals all kinds here: a kolf player raising his club to hit the ball or a little man skating towards us. The lonely wanderer by the bridge is a superb touch too. The small figures getting smaller and smaller subconsciously convince us that the painting has depth.