This is a tranquil landscape; it appears to be early evening. Characteristically for van der Neer, the light does not come from the side but emanates from the horizon.
The painting probably dates from the early 1650s. It once bore a false Cuyp signature, probably added because the effect of distant sunlight and of pastoral tranquility recalls the work of Aelbert Cuyp.
Aert van der Neer, born in Gorinchem and active in Amsterdam, specialised in landscapes at dawn and dusk, scenes lit by moonlight or fire, and winter scenes. He was the father of the painter Eglon van der Neer, whose painting 'Judith' is also in the National Gallery's Collection.