This painting has been present in Sternen’s oeuvre since its first public showing at the first exhibition of the Slovene Art Society in 1900 and its positive reception has continued undimmed to the present day. Art historian Jure Mikuž characterises it as an “early” work because of its simulation of sunlight and, above all, its convincing execution. Thick applications of paint in drawn-out brushstrokes model the volume of the body in colours ranging from black, via shades of purple and blue, to various degrees of white. Warmer, ochre-like shades mark the girl’s complexion, give a pinkish tinge to the sunlit road and close the scene in the top left-hand corner with the suggestion of a shaded wall. The surprising element of this work, which really does call to mind Impressionism, is the immediacy of the scene. The suddenly halted movement, the forward bend of the figure, the short shadow and the girl busying herself with her shoelace are effectively supported by the dynamic and perhaps slightly coarse structure of the painting. The sense of movement and the weather conditions construct a successful plein air image. With its hasty, long lines, the preparatory drawing for this work appears somewhat unusual in its proportions, although it emphasises the idea of the dynamic shape of the billowing skirt.
The problem of daylight had, however, been present in the works of the Munich-trained Slovene artists since at least the early 1890s, when Ivana Kobilca exhibited Summerand Ferdo Vesel grappled with the problem of contre-jour in his graduation work Blind Man’s Buff. By the end of the century, the function of drawing as an organisational element of a painting had faded. Softened contours began to move the expression of the whole from a controlled rendering of spatial relationships to the perceptual experience of a moment, consisting of patches of colour – something we can find in particular in the landscape paintings of Rihard Jakopič and Matija Jama in Stranska Vas in 1901. Studies for the figure in this work are kept in the National Gallery and the Zala Gallery Collection.