Gustave van de Woestyne lived in Sint-Martens-Latem for about ten years. He sought an answer to his need for religiosity in the simplicity of rural life. He shared with the artists who were already living and working there the craving for spiritual depth and an admiration for the Flemish and Italian primitive painters. He maintained close contact with the villagers, who are often to be seen in religiously inspired scenes in his paintings. Van de Woestyne painted this work, called The Farmer (or Evening), when he had already left the village. The refined and detailed realism of this farmers head and the still pose are reminiscent of the Flemish primitives. However, the expressive simplification of the symmetrically composed plain background and the use of large areas of colour already point in the direction of modernism.