This charming winter landscape was almost certainly brought to England by Arnold Joost van Keppel, a member of an ancient and noble family from Gelderland, and a close associate of William of Orange, later King William III. Van Keppel travelled with the Prince from the Netherlands to England in 1688, the year before the Prince was crowned King. In 1696–97, the King granted Van Keppel the title of 1st Earl of Albemarle. His son, Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, was a distinguished soldier who married Lady Anne Lennox, daughter of the 1st Duke of Richmond, with whom he had three boys who all followed in the family tradition of loyal military service to the British crown, including Augustus, one of Britain's greatest ever naval commanders and himself a great patron of the arts. The painting has descended in the collection of the Earls of Albemarle and is now being offered on the art market for the first time in over three centuries.
We are grateful to Dr. Fred G. Meijer, who has inspected the painting first-hand, for suggesting a date of execution in the late 1630s.