Three characters, two men and a woman of advanced age, dressed in rags, are gathered around a table. The monumental nature of the figures, their far-away expressions, the emptiness of the room, the shades of ochre and grey, all give the work an air removed from that of a simple genre scene. The painting is a protest over the conditions some people suffered, a painting with a social subject matter of the type that flourished in the eighteenth century with the Enlightenment and which sought for a constructive moral lesson. The work was commissioned by the collector Marshal von Schulenberg, who took it to his residence in Berlin.
130 x 95.5 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, long-term loan to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, 2004