genre scene: This painting shows a poor family living in a ramshackle room. A young mother is feeding a baby. Next to her, the exhausted and sickly grandmother is trying to feed a small child - but the bowl is empty. The father is conspicuously absent from this family scene. Perhaps the young woman has been widowed and left without means of support. Greuze has attempted to show 'composite' or 'mixed' emotions in this scene, a feat which was much admired by Salon critics. The mother's body inclines towards her hungry baby, yet her attention is caught by the plight of the grandmother and older child, thus demonstrating conflicting maternal impulses.