This painting is the largest of the artist’s rural subjects. The painting is likely more than a simple depiction of harvesting. It uses motifs found in Bloemaert’s own engravings of July and August from a series of the months of the year. The subject may also be a personal combination of images inspired by the Biblical proverbs reprimanding sloth while endorsing rest after diligent labour. Dutch art of the time commonly referred to both religious thought and popular proverbs as exemplified in daily life. The influence of Caravaggio's followers on him was mitigated by the elegant stylization of his earlier Mannerist idiom.