Though perhaps better-known as a painter of interior genre scenes, Hendrick Sorgh, the son of market tradesmen, also made a speciality of depicting outdoor markets. In doing so, he was continuing in the tradition developed almost a century earlier by Pieter Aertsen and Joachim Beuckelaer, whose works Sorgh would have been familiar with from his time spent in Antwerp training in the studio of David Teniers II. If those early examples carried specific allegorical or moralistic messages, Sorgh's message was probably none other than to attest to the abundance of produce offered at the weekly markets in Dutch cities. His adoption of the subject in the early 1650s coincided with the new interest in cityscape painting, and Sorgh's native city of Rotterdam provided the backdrop to these works.
In all, nine market scenes survive: a pair dated 1653 and 1654 (Kassel, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen); the Markt, from 1654 (Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen); a Couple at a Vegetable Market, from 1660 (sold in these Rooms, 29 November 1974, lot 74); a Vegetable Market, dated 1662 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum); an undated pair of a Poultry Market and a Fish Market (Basel, Kunstmuseum; and Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum); and a Vegetable Market, also undated (formerly Paris, H. Wetzlar collection).