The waterfall, the elaborate rock formation, and the remains of a round temple in the distance–these elements all recur throughout Roelandt Savery's work. In the tradition of Gillis van Coninxloo, Savery believed that nature was more than merely a backdrop to human action; it could be the dramatic focus of a picture.
Roelandt Savery probably drew this setting from his imagination, based on places he had seen on his travels in the Tyrol, a mountainous region in Austria and Italy. During the early 1600s, while in the service of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague, Savery traveled extensively in the eastern Alps, gathering many of the motifs he would use in his pictures for the rest of his life. Savery made his early travel drawings using the same materials he often combined, the black chalk and colored wash seen in this drawing.