Roelofs lived in Brussels until 1887, but every year he spent several months drawing and painting in his beloved Netherlands. He once wrote: 'When I've been to Holland, I'm spoilt for a time and can't adjust back to the idea of staying here for good. One always remains a foreigner here and I miss the support one feels from people in one's own country.' (letter of 1 October 1865 to VerLoren van Themaat). In a later letter (c. 1866) he wrote: 'My great plan to return to the beloved fatherland becomes firmer the longer I stay here. Between ourselves - for I daren't carry on so childishly even in front of my wife - I really believe I am homesick sometimes. You'll undoubtedly laugh at this, but it is impossible to understand what it is to long for one's country. I now believe that to be sent into exile is the worst possible form of punishment.'
The areas in the Netherlands where Roelofs most liked to paint were Noorden, the area around the river Gein (where Piet Mondriaan was also to paint) and Abcoude, which is represented in this landscape.
Source: R. de Leeuw, J. Sillevis, Ch. Dumas (eds.), The Hague School: Dutch masters of the 19th century, The Hague 1983