A seated doctor accompanied by two students warms his hands over heated coals. This gesture and the leafless tree behind were both connected with winter, which may be the picture's theme. It is a cartoon (full size design) for a tapestry intended for a room in the royal palace of El Pardo. It was to be hung above a door which accounts for the bold colours, uncluttered composition and low view point, giving prominence to the dish of coals and the doctor's books. Goya had already produced tapestry designs for the same palace, illustrating contemporary pastimes, customs and fashions.