This barren countryside is shown in the blazing light of noon, with the riders seeking refreshment and coolness by a well. Life in the desert is free from constraints. The atmosphere is calm and relaxed and the team spirit between man and beast is close. This was how nineteenth-century Europeans imagined the Orient. Schreyer achieved great success with the general public through his specialisation in genre motifs depicting the lives of horses and riders from the East. The artist, who was influenced by the French Romantic painters like Delacroix and Eugène Fromentin, undertook several journeys to Asia Minor and North Africa. Thereafter he lived in Paris and Kronenberg from the 1870s onwards.
It was the executor who notified the administration that the gentleman of private means Johann Georg Cronhardt (d. 1904) had bequeathed them this painting. Cronhardt had inherited the work from Georg Seufferheld (1813–1874), whose will in 1874 had also revealed that a noteworthy oeuvre of Dutch Baroque painting should be left to the Städel: Aert van der Neer’s wonderful painting of the night.