In the early 1880s Pissarro painted a number of market scenes characterised by close-up views of people, mainly women, going about their activities. The market portrayed here is the weekly market held in Pontoise.The artist made several changes to the composition in the course of the painting which can be seen from X-rays. One of these concerns the central figure, who was originally intended as an older woman. Pissarro finally chose to depict his niece, Eugénie Estruc, known as Nini. Her pose is reminiscent of Degas's images of women ironing.
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