Born in Antwerp in 1848, Georges Croegaert received his earliest academic training at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. In 1876, the artist moved to Paris where he spent the remainder of his life painting portraits and interior scenes. In Paris, he adopted van Beer's realism in representing women and became a rival of Francois Brunery and Jean Georges Vibert for the reputation as the leading artist in the specific genre of Cardinal paintings.
Enjoying the Fruits of the Spirit is a superb demonstration of Croegaert's technical virtuosity. Every detail is meticulously delineated, even the tapestry in the background, which a lesser artist would have blurrred. Croegaert enhances the reality of the scene by having the cardinal jovially invite the viewer to join him in his repast.