Paintings which reflect upon their own character as media are referred to as “meta paintings”. With paint so thick as to form a relief, Monticelli’s panel depicts a man painting a facade. The work not only emphasises the motif, but also – through its coarse application – the significance of paint as a material. Whereas many of Monticelli’s contemporaries responded to his unusual works with incomprehension, artists such as Cézanne and Van Gogh admired them. The latter even claimed to emulate Monticelli above all other artists.