The present painting is a fine example of French Realism, the movement that had started in the 1850s and that endeavoured to depict objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation, as opposed to the dominating genre of romanticism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Realism believed in objective reality and revolted against the exaggerated emotionalism of the romantic movement. Truth and accuracy became the goals of many Realists. Many paintings depicted people at work, underscoring the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. Antoine Vollon, Alexis father, was an important representative of this movement and Alexis followed in his footsteps.
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