Nicolas Poussin is primarily known as a painter of history subjects, but he was also an accomplished landscapist. He probably made this drawing for its own sake, rather than as a study for a painting.
Poussin probably made this view on the spot. He captured the atmosphere of a wooded path opening onto a grassy clearing, with sunlight streaming through a thicket of trees. With vivid touches of his pen and brush, he skillfully suggested the deep shadows on the trunks of the trees and the sunlight penetrating their foliage.