Between 1886 and 1891 Gauguin spent extended periods in the rural community of Pont-Aven, Brittany, in northwestern France. There he painted scenes of everyday life invested with symbolic, even religious, significance. Here two Breton peasants sit in the shade. The right-hand figure seems at first to be praying, but in fact she’s eating—holding a piece of fruit, perhaps, in her left hand and a knife in her right. The painting demonstrates a shift in Gauguin’s style away from the brushy, Impressionistic manner of his early career towards the broad, flat expanses of color that characterize his Tahitian pictures.