The Work

This painting shows a woman and a child, perhaps a mother and daughter. Their simple clothing and the tanned face of the woman identify them as peasants. The universal subject of teaching, and the absence of contemporary details in the dark interior, make this painting a thematic and stylistic counterpart to Dutch works of the 17th century. The slightly idealized face of the girl, and the tender gesture of the woman putting her hand on the girl’s shoulder, give a sentimental quality to this scene.

French embassy