Autumn sunlight pervades the scene of crop gathering in the market gardens. Pissarro's contemporary subject, his use of bright colours, his avoidance of dark hues and the broken yet fluid brushwork are all characteristic of Impressionist painting. The picture is dated 1874, the year of the first Impressionist exhibition. Pissarro and family returned to Pontoise, north west of Paris, in 1872. New rail links brought villages, like Pontoise, within commuting distance of the city but also threatened the traditional way of life as suburban flower gardens began to replace market gardens. This may have influenced Pissarro's choice of subject.