The painting shows one of van Ruysdael's characteristic compositions. A river bank extends diagonally across the picture plane from the lower left corner, giving the illusion of spatial recession. A boat full of people, placed parallel to the picture plane, crosses the river. Examination by infrared reflectography has revealed extensive underdrawing in charcoal or black chalk beneath the trees, cottage and footbridge. The boat and figures were not drawn in at this stage.
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