De Putter was born in The Hague, where he specialised in still lives of fish and was clearly influenced by the Haarlem painters of banketjes. With its monochrome palette, enhanced by the silvers and whites of the glistening fish scales, the present work is characteristic of the artist's oeuvre. Unlike most of his contemporaries, De Putter, as noted by C.H. Breedveld (De oorsprong van het visstilleven in de Nederlanden van de 17e eeuw, 1995, unpublished doctoral thesis), did not depict fish of the types normally found at daily markets. Instead, he painted fish as game, not food - a difference highlighted by his depiction of nets and other equipment. His work has therefore been regarded as belonging to the same tradition as hunting still lives and other game pieces, with which they have often been hung as pendants.