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Deshayes painted a number of works depicting woodcutters. It is possible that such imagery was inspired by his time at the Forest of Fontainebleau, where the issue of deforestation was highly contentious. Many trees were being felled to supply the urban regeneration of a fast-expanding Paris. In this painting the focus rests on the centre of a stark foreground where men sit on recently cut tree-trunks watching a smoking fire.
oil on panel
H 21.9 x W 30.3 cm
bequeathed by the Founders, 1885