Niittomiehet (The Hay Cutters) is one of the purest examples of the paintings of folk life by Halonen. The work was painted in the French plein-air style depicting the spirit of genuine people people at work. Pekka Halonen painted a Lapland Lahti peasant boy at his work in their home region of Savolainen countryside after spending the winter season in Paris studying painting at the Académie Julian. The model of the boy sharpening his scythe was his younger brother Antti. The work was featured in the autumn of 1891 in the Atheneum exhibition in September.