Charles Baugniet studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Brussels under the direction of Joseph Paelinck. He began his career as a lithographer and gained his reputation publishing a series of portraits of the chamber of deputies as well as thirty contemporary artists of the day. In London in 1841, he was appointed draughtsman to the King. By 1860 he had settled in Paris and turned his attentions to genre scenes and more anecdotal paintings.
Baugniet is admired for his elegant portrayals of upper-class ladies in sumptuously decorated interiors. These rich interior scenes are among the most sought after works in his oeuvre. In the present work, great attention is paid to rendering the meticulous details of the interior from the porcelain cups and saucers on the table to the fine fabrics of the ladies' dresses.
A young woman stands in front of a group of elegantly dressed ladies who consider her for a potential position among the servants in their home. Baugniet subtly juxtaposes the nonchalance and snobbish attitude of the ladies of the house against the quiet demeanor of the girl who nervously awaits their decision.