Corot had a great feeling for the poetry of the calm water of the ponds and rivers whose very presence in the landscape invited meditation. In Bringing in the Nets, the water of the river reflects the subtle silver-grey tones of the overcast sky. As he often did, Corot put in a dash of colour to highlight these grey tones: the pink headscarf of the fisherman in the foreground. In the distance, the roofs of the cottages indicate the presence of people, further evoked by the miniscule walkers resting under the trees. But the most important element is the landscape. The misty, blurred forms are laid out harmoniously.
On the right, a clump of trees reaches up towards the sky, and before it, a birch with delicate branches – a simple line thrown into the centre of the canvas around which the composition takes shape. A feeling of serenity, melancholy even, emanates from this painting, a feature of the later works by this painter.