Up to the Early Modern Age peasants paid a ten percent tax to the Church or lord of the manor. This tithe was often paid in kind. Advocates, who generally had a dubious reputation, certified the payment.
The painting "Peasants at an advocate" gives a detailed insight into the office of an advocate as well as the idea of the plight and dependency of the peasants, who submissively approach the busy legal scholar with their natural produce. At the same time, the image can be seen as a persiflage of the advocate's profession. Behind him, for example, the words "Almanach de Grace de Dieu" can be read, which speaks of the grace and not of the justice of God: a hidden reference to the supposed self-image of the advocates, who were generally regarded to be corruptible shysters.