Vliet specialised in painting church interiors and this is his only known landscape, though such scenes were popular with his Dutch contemporaries. The grotto is a curious hybrid, partly natural and partly man-made with elements carved from the rocks. Two gentlemen have journeyed to inspect the site. With its shadowy statue, to the left, and giant head, to the right, it seems to have been the centre of a mysterious antique cult. A kneeling shepherd, to the right, suggests that the primitive worship of nature continues.
Inscriptions / Translations: Signed and dated I.r.: H Vandervliet 164[3?]
Notes: Exhibited: 'Italian and the Italianate', Hazlitt Gallery, London, UK, 1966, no. 9; 'Une image peut cacher une autre', Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales, Paris, France, 06 April 2009 - 06 July 2009, no. 252.