Carl Holsøe studied from 1882-1884 at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen and subsequently at the Kunstnernes Studieskole under the mentorship of P. S. Krøyer. Holsøe's first interior scene submitted to the Charlottenborg December exhibition in 1886 received a warm reception from the critics, many of whom were struck by Holsøe's precise and harmonious spatial arrangement of figures and objects. One even wrote that the objects moved like the 'fish in the sea.'
Single figures in interior settings occupied a central theme in Danish art of the 19th Century. Along with Vilhem Hammershøi and Peter Ilsted, Carl Holsøe emerged as one of the major proponents of this genre which stressed simplicity and sentimentality. Compared with the more symbolic overtones of Hammershøi's atmospheric works, Holsøe's paintings are more down-to-earth in their narrative scope and stress the natural beauty of the subject as communicated through the harmonious play of light and shadow.
Although Holsøe executed many beautiful landscapes, interiors dominated his oeuvre. The overt simplicity of the interiors and figures portrayed conveys a sense of timelessness and evokes the wistful nature of solitude and introspection. In the present work, the woman who stands in an interior embellished with a cello and other bric-a-brac compels the viewer to contemplate her thoughts as she gazes out the window.