Dated 1656, this drawing was executed at the height of Berchem’s success, both professionally and personally. Married with two children, and another soon to be born, he was also serving at this time as vinder or inspector of the Guild of Saint Luke in Haarlem, and was sufficiently well-off to buy a garden with summerhouse on the outskirts of the town in March 1656. According to Houbraken, Berchem was fond of moralistic proverbs and the present sheet is a delightful example of such a proverb translated into a design for a frontispiece, although no print is known to have been made after it. While the diligent woman on the left has carefully wound up her wool on her distaff, her idle companion has dozed off, while her little dog unravels all her earlier work. The inscription translates as 'What is the point of spinning with great diligence/ if the result is spoiled by improvidence?' The theme may reflect Berchem's own pride in his hard work and accomplishments.