The floor scrapers

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This painting is one of the first representations of urban proletariat. Whereas peasants or country workers had often been shown, city workers had seldom been painted. Unlike Courbet or Millet, Caillebotte does not incorporate any social, moralising or political message in his work.

The nude torsos of the planers are those of heroes of Antiquity, it would be unimaginable for Parisian workers of those times.

Caillebotte presented his painting at the 1875 Salon. The Jury, no doubt shocked by its crude realism, rejected it.

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