This was believed to be the artist's earliest dated painting, based on a reading of the date as 1641. In 1991, in redefining his oeuvre Hans Ulrich Beck (see Literature) believed this to be wrong, and instead dated it to 1661, the same year as a number of other panels (his nos. 1258-1260), which in his opinion are very similar in style to the present painting. After close inspection of the painting, however, a date of 1641 can be confirmed.
Relatively few works by Van Zwieten are recorded, but in almost every known painting the composition is arranged along broadly similar lines: a diagonal pathway or road disects a lowly cottage and a dune or cluster of trees. These compositions, as well as his technique, are greatly indebted to Pieter Molijn, many of whose works are recorded in family inventories in Leiden, where Van Zwieten spent most of his career and where he was made Dean of the Guild of St. Luke in 1660.
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