The painting is an icon of the twentieth century, showing striking workers, and is in the “chromoluminarist” or divisionist style.
Not only does it depict a scene of social life – a strike – it is a symbol. The people, with equal space being given to a woman with a baby in her arms, are moving towards the light. The painting represents the full development of this theme, which the artist already dealt with in paintings such as Ambassadors of hunger, Stream of people and a preparatory sketch of 1898, The path of workers. The composition of the painting is balanced in its shapes and vibrant in its light, giving the perfect idea of a mass movement.
It can be viewed at the Museo del Novecento in the Arengario palace near Duomo square in the centre of Milan.
An earlier version, however, is held in the Pinacoteca di Brera, also in Milan.
Artist: Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo
Type: Oil on poplar
Dimensions; 293 cm × 545 cm (115 in × 215 in)