Huet came from a long line of animal painters and specialised in peaceful, idealised depictions of rural life. His work was inspired by the philosophical and social movement that espoused a return to nature in order for humanity to flourish and be happy.
Like its pendant, La Bouquetière (The Flower Seller), La Laitière depicts a young woman daydreaming in a green setting. Their work, though harsh and physical, is portrayed with a certain candour. The rural life was seen as a peaceful idyll by the city dwellers for whom these paintings were intended. The pastoral theme and the fresh way in which it is treated are clearly reminiscent of the work of François Boucher, whose art Huet kept alive in the first few years of the 19th century.