The present watercolour relates to one of a pair of oil paintings, Time of Peace and Time of War, exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1846, nos. 53 and 83, which were engraved by T.L. Atkinson and F. Stacpoole in 1850. The paintings were destroyed in 1928. The subject matter was inspired by fears of an Anglo-French conflict in the early 1840s. Landseer contrasted the blessings of peace with the horrors of war; sheep and goats grazing by a rusty cannon are compared to two cavalry men and their horses lying dead amongst the ruins of a farm.