The son of a market bargeman - hence the nickname 'de Sorch', meaning 'careful', after his manner of handling cargo - Sorgh trained with David Teniers II in Antwerp (according to Houbraken). Like his contemporaries Herman and Cornelis Saftleven, Sorgh played a significant role in developing in Rotterdam the tradition of painting peasant interiors that earlier had been established by Teniers and Adriaen Brower in the Netherlands. Like so many of his works in the genre, the present painting, in which a jolly group of peasants play cards in a darkened tavern, lit from the left from an open window, is indebted to these older masters' compositional formulas. While Sorgh held the official post of market barge captain for the Rotterdam-Dordrecht line throughout his adult life, painting was his true vocation. Indeed, he was appointed dean of the Guild of St. Luke in 1669.