This is one of the first paintings Rusiñol did in Paris. In it, Rusiñol depicts a dark courtyard in an inner city. The place’s sense of sadness and distress is highlighted by the woman in mourning who appears in the background.
When the work was shown in Paris, critics referred to it briefly, though in favourable terms. The longest and most enthusiastic commentary was by Miquel Utrillo. Thanks to his observations, where he suggested the courtyard could belong to a pawnbroker, the work took on this title definitively.
During his first stay in the French capital, which lasted until May 1890, Rusiñol alternated his artistic work with an intense bohemian lifestyle.