The painting is one in a series of six works, five of which are still extant, that depict different times of the year. As in many of his paintings, the focus is on peasants and their work. Notably, some of the peasants are shown eating while others are harvesting wheat, a diachronic (relating to phenomena — ideas/language/culture — as they occur or change over a period of time) depiction of both the production and consumption of food. Pears can be seen on the white cloth in front of the upright sitting woman who eats bread and cheese while a figure in the tree to the far right rear can be seen picking pears.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art calls this painting a "watershed in the history of Western art" and the "first modern landscape". A sense of distance is conveyed by the workers carrying sheaves of wheat through the clearing, the people bathing in the pond, the children playing and the ships far away.