Haarlem 1620 - before 1678 Haarlem
Panel, 58 x 89.5 cm
Painted circa 1660
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder, The Hague
The dead tree in the foreground forms not only a focal element in the composition, but confers a deeper significance on the picture. Mighty oak trees may appear immutable, but their lives are nonetheless finite. Rombouts has borrowed this reference to the transience of earthly existence from his great mentor Jacob van Ruisdael. This cautionary message is further underlined by the grey looming sky behind.