It originally was represented in twelve separate wooden dinning plates each depicting a different proverb from the Netherlands.

This piece of art shows them combined with the proverb written in the black panels below the illustrations.

The top right image depicts the proverb "a seller of waffles who drinks and plays", shows the importance of business.

The second image is "to hang one's cloak into the wind", which means someone changes their viewpoint based on current viewpoints.

The third proverb is "to carry fire in one hand and water in the other", which means someone is two-faced. Lastly, there is "to sit between two chairs", meaning one cannot make up their mind.

The first proverb in the middle row is "to fill the well after the calf is drowned", which signifies taking action after something bad happens.

The second image depicts the proverb "casting pearls before swine", meaning it is important to not spend too much energy on someone unworthy.

Third is "to bell the cat".

This means one is attempting a dangerous or unrealistic plan. Fourth is "to be unable to see the sun shine on the water", meaning one is jealous of another's success.

For the bottom row, the first image shows the proverb "to bang one's head against a wall", which means they are trying to achieve the impossible.

Second is "to fish behind the net", which represents a missed opportunity.

Thirdly, "to wear a blue cloak" represents deception. The final proverb is "pissing against the moon", which means one is wasting time on something pointless. These are Bruegel's Twelve Proverbs.