Raised in Lyon, Pillement trained locally before venturing to Paris. There, he worked briefly at the Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory and was exposed to the Rococo style exemplified by the painters Jean-Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. In 1745 he left for Madrid, one of many cities he would call home. He lived in London for ten years, exploiting the English taste for fanciful landscapes and Rococo patterns that were frequently engraved and widely used by textile designers. He travelled to Austria, Germany, Poland, and Portugal, solidifying his reputation as a prolific printmaker and interior designer. The distribution of his work through engravings resulted in his poictures gaining widesperead popularity and naturally resulted in other artists of the period following his style.
The influence of Pillement can be seen in the overall composition which owes a certain amount to tapestry design. The trees particularly lend themselves both in colour and design to this. The pleasing rustic scene with a water mill and a farmer with his dog, is typical of the subject matter that depicted countryside living free of actual hardship, a lifestyle that appealed famously to Marie Antoinette in the years before the French revolution.