A test piece submitted in application for the position of substitute teacher at the Academia de Belas Artes, this work conveys a serenity achieved through the rigour of the composition and the precise articulation of the elements that constitute it, to create a scenographic-like moment.
Though produced during his earlier years, the painting displays some freedom in its treatment of form and reveals the fundamental elements developed in his work and by other artists of the Romantic movement: the landscape in its "natural" state, national customs and animalism. A bucolic rurality stands out in which the artificiality of the light and the amplitude of the composition ennoble and eternalise the scene. The theoretical and literary influences are drawn from the work of Almeida Garrett, who was equally interested aesthetically and ideologically in popular motifs. Its naturalist and sentimental character previewed a new current in Portuguese painting, later developed by Silva Porto.


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