This is a good example of Paul Henry's early Achill period, that is, of the years 1910-15 when he was influenced by the French painters Jean-François Millet and Honoré Daumier. Bold in concept, moderately heavy impasto, strong characterization (although with little sense of movement in the figure) and a limited palette, the composition is well observed and concisely set down. The doorway of the cottage is similar to that in a number of other works by Henry, such as Old Connemara Woman (Boston College, Boston, Mass.). Reviewing the artist's exhibition in London in 1912 the Art News (7 February 1912) noticed this picture, describing the 'light coming in from a little window in the rear, while the Connemara man stands there by the side of a wall in the foreground'. To Belfast's Northern Whig in 1913 (17 February) it was 'an admirable study of a type [of individual] and a very daring piece of colour'. Prior to the publication of his Rambles in Ireland Robert Lynd, a friend of the artist from his schooldays in Belfast, wrote to Henry seeking permission to reproduce this picture in his book. Henry replied, on 5 September 1912, from Pullough, Achill Island, where he was living at the time, saying: 'Certainly use the photograph of The Old Man from Connacht [the present lot]. I am glad that you like it well enough to want to have it' (S.B. Kennedy, Paul Henry papers, MS60). The setting for the scene was the village of Keel on Achill Island.