Aleksander Gierymski is seen as both a Realist and an Impressionist painter and in Boy Carrying a Shaft seems to straddle the boundaries between both. The boy is realistically drawn and painted with naturalistic colours in the costume and face which exhibits a sternness that perhaps indicates a social challenge.
Gierymski did not shy from painting humble subject-matter. There is an impressionistic taste also here – in the shaft and the landscape the painter shows a light falling of manifold colours, which tell us of the painter’s concern with perception and a sense of the magic in the humble. It was painted in 1895.
Aleksander Gierymski’s Boy Carrying a Shaft is in the National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland.