The castle of Muiden, seen here from the north-east, is about seven miles east of Amsterdam at the entry of the Vecht river into the Zuider Zee. It probably dates from the 14th century and today looks much as it appears in the painting. In the 17th century it was the residence of the Dutch poet and historian Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft. Under his ownership the castle became the gathering place for a circle of the most eminent Dutch poets and scholars, the so-called 'Muiderkring'. The castle is frequently mentioned in Dutch poetry of the time.