I loved the simplicity of this scene when I viewed this painting at the Maryhill Museum in Washington. From the museum placard:
William McGregor Paxton
Oil on canvas, 1910
During the summer of 1910, Paxton and his wife Elizabeth traveled to Italy visiting Naples, Capris, Lake Como and Venice, where this painting was executed. It exemplifies Paxton's ability to paint women...even the everyday working woman...with an idealism and beauty that transcended reality.
This painting tells nothing of the woman's calloused hands or aching back. We might surmise from the slippers she wears that she favors throbbing feet. Instead, it portrays the dignity of honest work and the beauty of service.