The ruined church of Muiderberg (seen on the hill in the distance) is situated near Naarden, south-east of Amsterdam on the Zuider Zee, where Ruisdael's father was born. Probably painted in the early 1650s, when the artist was still living in Haarlam, it is based on drawings made in the locality. There is a compositional study for the painting in the Albertina, Vienna, which corresponds closely but does not include the carriage and riders on the right. It may be that this group has been added by another hand but at an early date as it appears almost unaltered in a landscape in the Szépmüvészeti M£zeum, Budapest, attributed to Ruisdael's contemporary, Jan van Kessel.
image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford