Here Rembrandt addresses a subject that had been tackled by other, near-contemporary hands. The juxtaposition of rather dilapidated buildings, complete with a broken wheel in the foreground (a common Vanitas symbol in Dutch landscapes) with an orderly townscape on the horizon might have been a fairly straightforward moral commentary on the fruits of industry and idleness. Both Jacques de Gheyn II (1565-1629) and Jan van de Velde II (1593-1641) painted and engraved images that sharply contrasted virtue and vice in this way. However, Rembrandt is more compassionate, and clearly had much sympathy with the older, bucolic way of life. He was probably preoccupied above all by representational skill and compositional harmony.