At the age of sixteen, Wouterus Verschuur first took part in the 'Tentoonstelling van Levende Meesters', an important exhibition of paintings by living artists which was alternately held in the large Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague during the 19th Century. From the beginning of his career, Verschuur's fine paintings of horses were recognized as demonstrations of how to paint the noble animals in their rural environment and in stable interiors. Three years after this first exhibition, he was awarded two consecutive Golden Medals at the artist society Felix Meritis, in the 1831 and 1832. In 1832 he became a member of the Koninklijke Academie in Amsterdam and in 1839 of the artist society Arti et Amicitae.
The Dutch romantic artists founded their artistic values on 17th Century art. Achieving the standard of the great painters of the Golden Age, both in subject as technique, was considered the greatest possible accomplishment. Specializing in specific subjects, Wouterus Verschuur chose to focus almost exclusively on horses which he often placed in the centre of his compositions. Verschuur studied the work of predecessors such as Philip Wouwerman (1619-1668), Pieter Gerardus van Os (1776-1839) and Cornelis Steffelaar (1797-1861). Wouwerman had devoted himself to the accurate depiction of the stances, musculature and shiny coats of horses. Verschuur made copies of paintings by Wouwerman, reproducing various details in other works. Van Os taught Verschuur how to depict the specific movements of the horses.
Verschuur's exceptional talent is visible in the present painting. In the centre of the composition he has placed two sturdy and able-bodies workhorses, each with a different colour, in a panoramic landscape with a farmer and his wife resting near a tree. The horses are given a well deserved moment of rest by their owners after a day of hard work. The horses are emphasised by the way in which they contrast with the light sky and set above the low horizon in the background. One almost senses the moment of rest in this composition: the release following hard work and the pulling of the muscles. In terms of composition, anatomy and handling of light, this painting illustrates why Verschuur was so admired internationally during his lifetime and why many prominent museums like the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam have paintings by his hand.