Son of an architect, Weenix studied with Bloemaert. Weenix travelled to Italy, staying in Rome for four years, before returning to Amsterdam. Here he became among the leaders of the second generation of Dutch Italianate landscape painters. Our painting is one of the few Netherlandish scenes he executed and his only such river scene, his other Dutch subjects featuring dunes and beaches. The composition, warm colour tones and strong, dramatic light are nonetheless clearly inspired by his experience of the Roman countryside. The painting was executed within the first five years following his return to his native country, when his brushwork was more open and less tight and polished than in his later pictures. This is one of his largest works on canvas. The subject of river scenes with ferries was not uncommon among Dutch landscapists, although the scale of this work is notable.