This painting is one of a group of works executed by Courbet during his stay in Frankfurt in 1858/59, by which time he was already a famous artist. His studio was located in Sachsenhausen in the Deutschordenhaus in Brückenstrasse. From there, one had a view of the Main River and, on the far side, the cathedral. The deserted town looks strangely unreal, almost like a stage backdrop. The only person going about his business is a lone fisherman. The depiction is not a topographically precise rendering of the panorama, but does capture a dreamy mood.