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This painting belongs to a group of 'bambocciate' (scenes of everyday life) set in Rome, many of which show people at work. They are characterised by dramatic contrasts in the fall of light and by a notable simplicity in the architectural and landscape forms in the background.

These paintings have been traditionally attributed to Pieter van Laer, but are now regarded as early works by Jan Lingelbach painted during his stay in Rome in the 1640s when he closely imitated van Laer. They have also been attributed to the anonymous 'Master of the Small Trades'.

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