Faed excelled in painting domestic interiors, taking great delight in the detailed appearance of varied furnishings and utensils. His figures, while skilfully painted, tended to be rather stereotyped. They greatly appealed to Victorian audiences, however, who preferred Faed's interpretation of poverty to its more painful reality. The poor but fortunate family on the left, clearly nourished within a loving home, provides a sharp contrast with the destitute mother and child huddled in the right corner. The small boy, just off centre, appears to provide a visual and emotional link between the two groups.