This picture originally formed part of a larger composition which extended on the left-hand side. Jacob is shown resting beneath a tree with sheep around him. In the water are sticks of wood which have been peeled of their bark. According to the Old Testament story (Genesis 30: 37-8) the sheep that drank this water conceived spotted lambs which Jacob was later able to claim as his own from his father-in-law, Laban.
An old copy of this painting in its complete state is in the Museo Cerralbo, Madrid.