'The Murder' is typical of Cézanne’s work at the end of the 1860s. Its violent theme is expressed in brutal strokes of a palette-knife. The subject matter is often considered the out-pourings of his youthful, impetuous nature. It also reflects the murderous themes in novels written in the 1860s by Emile Zola, Cézanne’s lifelong friend. The painting’s subject, lighting and colouring create a nightmarish quality reminiscent of works by the Spanish artist Goya, who was at the height of his popularity among Cézanne’s circle in the mid-1860s. Formerly in the collection of the Jewish art critic Julius Eliasand and his family in 1930s Berlin.