A group of labourers hardly break into a sweat in their neat black hats and bonnets as they reap the corn beneath a hot, summer sky. They form an undulating line across the picture space, recalling figures on a carved classical frieze. This sense of order is reinforced by the presence of the farm manager, who oversees the work from his horse, and a church spire in the distance. It is a scene of idealised social harmony in a bountiful country, where the workers in their fashionable clothing are as content with their position as the faithful dog resting beside them. George Stubbs, who is most famous for his horse paintings, made this picture in 1785. Notice the wonderfully lifelike evocation of the overseer’s horse, with his glossy, brown coat. With paintings like this, Stubbs intended to branch out into scenes of rural life, which were popular at the time among wealthy art collectors. There is even a slight hint of narrative, in the glance that seems to be exchanged between the young female worker and the overseer on his horse.