From the mid-1860s Courbet produced a number of landscapes depicting the dramatic scenery near his native town of Ornans in the Jura mountains. The exact location for this picture has not been identified, but is presumably the upper reaches of the Doubs river or one of its tributaries, such as the Loue or the Conche. Courbet was fascinated by the huge waterfalls and deep gorges which formed in the limestone rocks. He would venture into the mountains to paint out of doors, using his donkey Jérôme to carry his materials. Courbet’s uncompromising view of nature and bold technique, making frequent use of the palette knife, had an important influence on the next generation of landscape painters, particularly the young Impressionists.