"This light-filled, en plein air scene is one of twenty-four landscapes that Monet painted
during his sojourn in the Netherlands in 1871. Painted near the village of Zaandam, the Achterzaan
river occupies the foreground of the painting while windmills and industrial buildings can be seen
in the distant background. The water reflects the multi-colored houses and willow trees that line
the river bank as well as a white sail boat that floats along the water. A woman dressed in a white
diaphanous gown stands beneath a willow tree on the left, gazing by the water.
Employing a distinctly blonde color palette reminiscent of that used by landscape painter Corot,
Monet renders this scene with attention to atmospheric detail and palpable light. This painting
also evokes a sense of leisure and pastoral beauty typical of Dutch seventeenth century paintings
that Monet would have seen during his stay in Holland. The artist’s color palette, portrayal of
leisurely pursuits, and increasing attention to the surface of the canvas—all practices that Monet
explored during his stay in Holland—were significant and influential in the development of his
increasingly modern approach to painting." - The Metropolitan Museum of Art.