Thomas Moran is famous for his beautifully detailed landscapes using land, light and water, and this particular creation portrays his own cottage framed by a glorious sunset. This wonderfully tranquil scene starts with water at the bottom of the picture, whether it is a river or a lake is unclear as you can only see one bank. Four cattle can be seen drinking and wallowing on the edge of the water, two black and two brown and white. The water reflects the sunset beautifully and the banks of the water are covered in lush grass, a large and beautiful tree stands, tall, knotted, beautiful branches and leaves, maybe a Eucalyptus. There are low plants around it and another small tree, maybe offshoots.
The middle of the picture moves away from the water and becomes a wide strip of grass, very probably the field in which the cattle live. The field is light green, worn down in places, probably from the mud of the cattle trampling in and out of the water. The far side of the field is bordered by a long stone wall with a gate in it. The gate leads to the cottage garden, which is full of trees and shrubs, indeed it seems to be a mass of trees and shrubs and that is all that can be seen, from low growing shrubs to poplars and spreading deciduous trees.
The cottage itself looks like more of a mansion than a cottage, with many windows on the first floor, which is the most prominent part of the house, the lower floor shows just one lighted window, and there is an unlit attic window on the second floor, but the first floor has about 10 windows on view on just the two sides of the house on view. The house is dark in colour against the setting sun. The roof of the house is short and steep with several chimneys.
The sky, which rises from the centre to the top of the picture is the feature of the work, with a beautiful bright yellow colour fading to orange to the left, while to the right the sinking sun is still visible as it sinks below the trees beside the house. The wonder of this piece is the tranquillity of the landscape and animals against the massive drama of the sunset, a beautiful and eye-catching contrast.