In Delacroix here goes back to a subject he had already treated in 1849. The scene furnishes him the pretext for an admirable landscape through which all the sharpness of his feeling for
nature becomes clear. The trees which dominate the composition through their powerful structure and lend balance to the rocky mass at the left are harbingers of the magnificent oaks of
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, and the diffused light beneath their heavy-laden branches allows the artist some subtle luminous effects.
Speaking of the painting, in which the forest landscape also holds a significant place, Delacroix, on April 29, noted some interesting thoughts: "I have come better to understand the principle of trees since I got here, even though it is early for vegetation. They must be modeled in a reflected light just like flesh: the same principle in their case would be even more practical. This reflection must not be entirely a reflection. When you finish, you heighten it wherever that is necessary, and in retouching the light spots or the grays, the transition becomes less abrupt. I note that it is always necessary to model in revolving masses as if with objects not made up of an infinity of small parts, as are leaves: but since their transparency is extreme the tone of the reflection plays a very large role in leaves.