Native to the Palatinate, the Roos family emigrated to the Netherlands during the Thirty Years’ War. In 1647, while training in Amsterdam, the young Johann Heinrich Roos met Karel Dujardin, one of the leading ‘Italianists’. Roos would feel indebted to those painters of rural idylls his whole life long. His scenes depict animals and people in a southern light, at peace and far away from the violence of war and the bustle of the city. As the ruins suggest, this imagined Arcadia was in Italy – also a land of longing for the citizens of Frankfurt, where Roos painted this work.