Boughton's relationship with Van Gogh is well recognised; Van Gogh admired his work and often mentioned it in letters written during his stay in England in the 1870s. (A picture from this period was sold in these Rooms, 25 October 1991, lot 41; and the Boughton/Van Gogh connection is discussed in English Influences on Van Gogh, exh. organised by the Fine Art Department, University of Nottingham, and Arts Council, 1974-5, cat. pp.13-20.) What seems to have been overlooked is that Boughton anticipates another great Post-Impressionist, Gauguin, both being among the artists of this period who found inspiration in Brittany. Gauguin painted in Brittany in 1886, 1888 and 1889, becoming the leader of the so-called Pont-Aven Group. Boughton must have gone during the years 1860-62, when he was living in Paris taking informal lessons from Edouard May, a pupil of Couture, and Edouard Frère. He exhibited five Breton subjects at the Royal Academy 1865-9, and reflections of Brittany continued to appear in his work for many years thereafter, the present picture being an example. Both Boughton and Gauguin, moreover, responded to the primitive and intensely religious character of the region. As A.L. Baldry wrote, 'How well [Boughton] understood the primitive simplicity of the people and the pastoral quiet of the country is well seen in his "Breton Peasants going to Market on Christmas Morning", his "Breton Pastoral", his "Wayside Devotion", and even in such a suggestion of the faith that dominates the simple peasant's mind as "The Vision at the Martyr's Well". Of the many artists who have painted Brittany and the Breton people, few have entered so intimately into the spirit of that quiet district' (op. cit., p.14). There is in fact a striking similarity between the Breton subjects painted by Boughton and Gauguin. Boughton's Wayside Devotion - Brittany (R.A. 1866) and A Wayside Cross, Brittany (R.A. 1869) recall Gauguin's famous Yellow Christ (1889; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, U.S.A.), which shows a group of Breton women kneeling at a wayside crucifix, while the present picture is comparable in theme to The Vision after the Sermon (1888; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh), perhaps the most famous of all Gauguin's Breton works.