Jacob van Ruisdael was the most important painter of realistic landscapes in seventeenth-century Holland. His work was enormously influential on English landscape painters around 1800.
This is an early work of about 1650. The Church in the background is the Groote Kerk at Haarlem. The painting formerly had some extra figures, notably a gentleman on a horse to the right. These proved to be later additions, and were removed during cleaning in 1998.