Born in Maastricht, Carel de Vogelaer is thought to have trained initially in his native city as a flower painter, perhaps under the aegis of his father, Pieter de Vogelaer, who was also an artist. He left for Italy in circa 1668, arriving in Rome possibly as early as 1671, although he is not recorded there for certain until 1675 when initiated into the Bentveughels society of artists. According to Pascoli, he enjoyed immediate success there and was patronised by many of Rome's affluent collectors such as Francesco Montioni, Nicola Maria Pallavicini, the Abbot Paolucci and Giambattista Cesa (see L. Pascoli, Vite dei Pittori,,,, II, Rome, 1736, p. 340).
Vogelaer painted several still lifes signed in the same way as the present picture, all of which seem to have been produced in pairs. These include the pictures of the same dimensions in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; those on a slightly smaller format formerly with Galerie Saint Lucas, Vienna; and a pair formerly at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk (see D. Bodart, Les Peintres des Pays-Bas Méridionaux et de la Principauté de Liège à Rome ay XVII Siècle, Brussels/Rome, 1970, II, figs. 312-13, 316-17, and 314-15). The present painting was probably also conceived with a pendant which might well have been the picture of exactly the same size, formerly with Galerie Canessa, Rome, 1964 (op. cit., fig. 311). That picture is similarly signed on a capital placed on the left side; the horizon is set at the same low level and a dove in the left foreground counters the rabbit in the in the present work.