A man is beating one of the pack mules in the middle distance. The picture reflects Both's familiarity with the Italian landscape, of which he had first-hand experience from his stay in Rome from 1635 until 1641. It is dated on grounds of style to around 1645, a few years after his return from Italy.
It is first recorded with certainty in an engraving of the composition by William Byrne and J. Schuman of 1790.
This picture was presented by Sir George Beaumont in 1823/8.