Figures outside a cottage is an example of David Teniers' late work, where the simplicity of rural life and the beauty of the Flemish landscape dominate. In contrast to the tavern interiors and village kermisses so common in his earlier works, the human element of his compositions became progressively more simplified after 1660 - indeed, local gossip is all that takes place in this scene. The narrative revolves around the group of men at the left, one of whom gestures towards something outside of the picture plane, perhaps the storm clouds gathering at the upper right and quickly making their way over the buildings in the middle distance. Sunlight illuminates a patch of the middleground where a shepherd and his flock appear but the stream already reflects the deep grey of the threatening sky overhead.
Margaret Klinge was not able to attribute this painting to David Teniers on the basis of photographs.