Strutt was the son of Jacob George Strutt, an artist who travelled in Austria and Switzerland before settling in Rome for the later part of his life. Like his father, Arthur painted several landscapes of the countryside surrounding Rome, but perhaps unsurprisingly, few were exhibited at the Royal Academy on account of their size.
Given the interest provided by the variety of tasks undertaken, and the colour of the local costumes, the subject of haymaking in the campagna was attempted by several British artists at this date. Penry Williams's Mass for the Reapers (Christie's, London, 13 June 2000, lot 114, £16,450), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1860 and now in the National Museum of Wales, depicted the haymakers receiving communion from a travelling altar so that they would not be distracted from their labours for too long during the harvest. Williams's view, like Strutt's, is set a little beyond Tivoli in the so called Valley of the Aqueducts: part of the Claudian aquaduct is seen in the distance of both pictures.