Two women are walking with their children towards a grove of beech trees. The morning light falls at an angle through lush foliage, behind which the sun has already risen. Children play happily on the grass and two riders appear at the right-hand edge of the grove, dressed, as are the walkers, in Renaissance costume. The viewer’s gaze is drawn irresistibly into the distance past ancient, overgrown fragments of stonework. The horizon broadens out into the sea where a port on the left has domes in the style of the Italian Renaissance. As so often in Schinkel’s work, this landscape is as much historical as topographical. In his remembrance of the great epochs of the past, Schinkel evokes his vision of present social renewal. Painted in 1813 during the Napoleonic wars, the picture conveys a sense of renewed patriotism. Echoing Runge’s Times of Day, Schinkel painted a companion piece entitled Evening which was, however, destroyed in 1945. In that work, the struggle against Napoleon was symbolized by two eagles hovering during a storm above a rock surrounded by oak trees. Both works were commissioned by General von Gneisenau and reflect his wish that together they should herald the dawn of a new age following a night of stormy darkness.