Crespi was the direct heir of the Carracci as a painter of everyday life, and played an important role in developing a taste for such scenes among his contemporaries. His interest in peasant subjects dates from his stay in Florence in 1709. This painting and its companion 'Musicians' probably date from shortly after this.
This painting is in the Bolognese tradition of depicting street-vendors, showing a peasant selling bread carried by a donkey.
Like its companion, this picture has been cut down at the left and the top edges.