During Deutsch's later period his work became increasingly more imposing and monumental in scale. Although he continued to produce the exceptionally detailed and intensely observed paintings that came to characterise his style, he also began to experiment with Post-Impressionism. In these works, to which the present canvas belongs, Deutsch uses broader brush strokes, creating an altogether looser and more spontaneous feel.
Together with these stylistic changes there also emerged in the later years of Deutsch's career a different emphasis in choice of subject matter, 'In these pictures women sell watermelons, draw water from the Nile or keep watch over their goats' (L.Thornton, Catalogue of the exhibition Orientalism - Delacroix to Klee, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1997, p. 114). For these later pictures the artist moved away from the depictions of the most respected and dignified figures in the ruling or intellectual classes of Eastern society, clothed in richly coloured and exquisitely textured materials and set in intricately layered and luxuriously decorated architectural surroundings. Instead, as in the present work, he represents the day-to day activities of society, using figures clothed in simple, flowing robes, yet still placed in exotic settings.
In the present work the figure of a young girl is frozen in a moment of naturalistic expression. Her face captures both the intensity of the sunlight beating down on her and her herd, as well as a sense of her concentration on an object or person beyond the picture plane. Deutsch's style retains the anatomical rationality for which his earlier work was renowned. However, we see here in his vibrant and bold use of colour, and the dynamic forms of the trees in the backgound, that the artist achieves a new sense of immediacy and tangibility.
The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by Lynne Thornton.