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The drawing marks the start of a new direction - a new sense of nature - in the work of Hondecoeter, whose forests are usually populated with animals.The foreground of this drawing is taken up by a peaceful stretch of water with overhanging trees whose trunks are knotted, but sturdy and slender, still almost mannerist in the way in which they are drawn.It is not unusual to find motifs borrowed from other painters in the woodland views of Hondecoeter's early period.
Another traditional element is the pairing of this landscape with a similarly conceived pendant.
However, this drawing illustrates a new compositional direction in Hondecoeter's development as a landscape painter.
Hitherto, his landscapes had been home to wildlife that was often fantastical and marked by a dense, solid, and somewhat schematic construction reminiscent of the work of Flemish artists of the sixteenth century.
The composition, which consists (from left to right) of a tree, a stretch of water, and a distant landscape, might be compared with an etching by Hieronymus Cock after a drawing by Pieter Brueghel (The Temptation of Christ).
The etching was much admired by many artists, and Hondecoeter made use of it in other works.