Below is a wonderful painting by Ivan Shiskin. He was a Russian 19th century painter. There are now books available on him, but until a few years ago he was almost unknown in America. Below is an image as he painted it.
Below, I have used modern technology to do a dreadful thing. I have defaced a great painting. Here is the Shiskin without its lead in. In the upper image there is a Z shaped path starting in the left foreground, leading you back to the stream with its two figures and then you zig-zag back into the distance.
My damaged version shows why Shiskin put that little bridge in. In this version it is harder to get into the painting. The stream runs from the right to the left, which is the opposite of how we prefer a painting to flow. The whole image is a little flattened, the rhythmic design that took you deep into the picture is gone, and the picture seems a little bland. Rather than journeying into the painting, now we look AT it.
Shiskin image from artrenewal.org