Margaret Klinge notes in the catalogue of the exhibition, David Teniers de Jonge, Antwerp, 1991, p. 132, that the singerie motif was intended to parody human activities and characters and, in this instance, highlight some of the negative aspects of soldierly behaviour. Pictures of monkeys had been popular since the sixteenth century but the first pictures of monkeys eating and drinking were not painted until the first decade of the seventeenth century, although none of these depicted soldiers (see, for example, Frans Francken II's Monkeys eating and drinking, in a private collection; Klinge, op. cit., p. 132, fig. 40b). Popularized by David Teniers II, the use of singeries to pillory man's pleasures as mere 'monkey business' was then taken up by other artists of the Brussels school including David's son and pupil, Abraham Teniers, and Ferdinand van Kessel.