Brueghel would significantly alter this basic compositional format of a river landscape with a single bank receding into space. He had already explored this compositional type in Landscape with a Fishing Village, River Landscape with a landing a Village, and A River Scene with Boats Unloading at Quay. Within this series of River Landscapes, Brueghel changed the composition by introducing a large tree at the junction of the river, allowing him to create a more satisfying spatial experience.
One of two known autograph version of this composition; the other (Ertz 1979 #257) is much larger and on panel, dated 1612,. Dating on present version now up in air because 1603 version, which Ertz dated this one as "after", is now attibuted to Jan the Younger (Ertz 1979 #094). So if the present work is original we can only date it to before 1612, hence I am saying ca. 1610. (Ertz 2008-10 calls it 1603-12)
Other copies attributed to Jan the Younger are:
Other variants not attributed to Jan the Younger:
Loosely related to a drawing in the British Museum, which itself copies a drawing by Pieter Bruegel in Berlin; see for illustrations Ertz 2008-10, p.248.