Isador Kaufmann, perhaps the most important of the Jewish genre painters of the 19th Century, was born in 1853 in Arad, Hungary. His artistic career began at the age of twenty-one when he copied a head of Moses and displayed it in his relative's tobacconist shop. The drawing drew the attention of Baron Aczél, the Arad chief of police, who convinced the young Kaufmann's mother of the artistic talent of her son and supported the artist financially at the Budapest State School of Drawing. Kaufmann later attended the Imperial Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna, where he studied with Josef Trenkwald, a historical painter who was associated with the Nazarene movement.
Kaufmann's earliest paintings date from 1883-1884, and the Viennese art dealer Frederick Schwartz, who represented many of Vienna's burgeoning artists, handled a majority of the artist's work. The work presented by the Schwartz's gallery was characterized by depictions of the simplicity of everyday life, small formats and amazing attention to detail.