In a wooded landscape a woman sits with a spindle. At her feet a shepherd, holdinga flute in his hands, is trying to look up her skirt. The painting is laden with sexual references. The flute is a phallic symbol and we are meant to deduce that the spinner would like to respond to these overtures, making two threads into one, a clear hint. Work by French painters from the first half of the 18th century was rather frivolous, but compared to the florid and excessively ornamental Rococo style of his French colleagues, Watteau is eminently restrained. Perhaps this modesty had Dutch origins. Watteau, like many other French artists at that time was impressed by Dutch 17th-century painting. French artists visited the Netherlands to study masterpieces and sometimes copied them. This painting is an example of this trend, because Watteau borrowed the scene from an etching by Rembrandt. Watteau is one of the most important early 18th-century artists. With his soft tones, richly-applied impasto, and often intriguing images, he created a style entirely his own.