Anna Ancher often painted small pictures with one or two figures, but in around 1900 she tried her hand at larger compositions with many figures, like in this picture. She created a lot of sketches for this picture, where she experimented with colours and tested various compositional elements. The painting was shown at the Spring Exhibition at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen in 1899. It was in private ownership until 2013, and has probably not been exhibited since 1899. In the image you can see mothers with their children, who are either waiting to be, or having been vaccinated against smallpox. Children had to be vaccinated before their seventh birthday. The vaccination of Danish children became mandatory in 1810 and was phased out in 1977. The disease was declared eradicated in 1980.