Painted in 1879, when Raffalli's primary interest was in depicting the downtrodden society of the Paris suburbs, the present painting shows a working class man scurrying over a hill with two large loaves of bread under his arms. As in most of Raffalli's paintings from this period, the central figure dominates his landscape. Raffalli's paintings from the late 1870s usually depict workers in contemplative, reflective poses where all physical activity of labor has stopped (see lot 79). However, this picture strikes a different cord. Has the man stolen the bread and is he attempting to make a quick getaway? The fact that he looks over his shoulder at the viewer, as if being followed, would point to this theory. Raffalli may have been making a reference to Victor Hugo's famous protagonist, Jean Valjean, a sympathetic figure who would have been very well-known to his French audience.