The painting is typical of Diepraem's work in terms of both subject and style. It may be intended as a 'vanitas': the smoke from the peasant's pipe can be interpreted as a symbol of the transience of earthly existence. In a picture of this type the peasant is certainly intended as an object of humorous ridicule. The blue and grey jug in the foreground is Rhenish stoneware of the 17th century and occurs in another picture by the artist (private collection).
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN