Professor Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco, in a certificate dated Rome, June 1998, has commented on the present painting: 'It is an important work in which the young Balla tackles a dark interior, choosing to paint a young woman crocheting. The movement of the bed-cover she works upon, slipping down across her lap, is very descriptive. One should also notice the background rendered with bands of divided colour, almost Balla's stylistic signature.'
'Very little is known about the output of the young Balla, who arrived in Rome in 1895 and was active there from the age of twenty-five to thirty, producing very few extant paintings. It is to this period that the present work is related. Amongst other pictures from this time, I would mention in particular Luci di marzo [Lista 8] signed and dated 1897 (the manner of its signature is very close to the present work), a still nave attempt at divisionism and one of Balla's very first exhibited works. I would also mention in this conext a portraits: the signature is similar to the portrait of the sculptor Sbrigoli [L. 3], dated 1896. Finally I will point out the celebrated oil, Le fatiche di mio figlio, exhibited in the Rome Amatori e cultori show in 1901, executed a few years after the present work.'
'In closing, I should also point out the detail of the bedside table on which an oil lamp is burning, diffusing delicate light then reflected throughout the composition. This device is a quote from Segantini, whom Balla considered amongst his masters. It is a premonition of those researches that were to earn him the nickname "Giacomo il notturno".'
This painting will be published in Professor Fagiolo dell'Arco's forthcoming Balla catalogue raisonn.