De Nittis trained at the Accademia in Naples under Gustavo Mancinelli and Gabriele Smargiassi and became a member of the Macchiaioli in Florence. He was influenced by the free ‘plein air’ techniques of the Impressionists. In 1874, he was invited by Edgar Degas to include five of his paintings in the First Impressionist Exhibition.
The two paintings within the National Collection follow the typical composition used by this artist showing solitary figures in wintry parks. These works represent modernity in the form of the well-dressed haute bourgeoisie on the streets of Paris. De Nittis artfully contrives a subtle asymmetrical composition, in which the street pulls the viewer’s attention to the walking women.