A drunken peasant tries to steady himself, awkwardly twisting his body and staring down at nothing in particular. He appears unaware of the precarious position of the earthenware pitcher in his left hand. The peasant's intemperate state showcases Cornelis Dusart's ability to capture the human form in an unusual pose, as well as his delicate modeling of the sitter's rumpled clothes and ruddy features.
Continuing the genre tradition established by his teacher Adriaen van Ostade, Dusart specialized in depictions of peasant life. Like Van Ostade, Dusart produced studies exploring variations in pose and expression of single, seated figures. But the use of red chalk--often highlighting hands and face--was Dusart's own innovation.