The rugged forests of Europe, especially in Germany, provided exotic subjects for painters raised in the Low Countries. Here, an up-country pine forest and stream are rendered in loose, spiky brushstrokes that recall those of French Barbizon painters. The view is similar to many in the Black Forest near Stuttgart, where Bilders is known to have travelled.
A native of Utrecht, Johannes Wernardus Bilders spent his life exploring the landscape of the Netherlands and neighboring Germany. He trained under the painter J. L. Jonxis but was mainly self-taught. After his German travels, during which he met his wife, he settled in the village of Oosterbeek in the picturesque eastern province of Gelderland.