The landscapes the Belgian Symbolist Khnopff painted around Fosset in the Ardennes at different times of his life are mostly deserted. This painting, too, seems strangely lifeless, in spite of the presence of the game warden. Seemingly withdrawn, he is standing stiff as a board in the meadow. As if he had been added to the unspectacular setting with hindsight, he is not even casting a shadow. This shows that the artist was concerned not with the representation of exterior reality but with inner awareness.
At the request of Mathilde Rathenau (1845-1926), a native of Frankfurt, a number of paintings were presented to the Städel in 1926 in memory of her son Walther Rathenau (1867-1922). Walther Rathenau, an industrialist and one of the co-founders of the German Democratic Party, was appointed foreign minister in January 1922. In June of that year he was assassinated in Berlin by the Organisation Consul, whose aim was to fight the Weimar Constitution.