The artist was born in Leeuwarden in 1828. After receiving an elementary education in his birthplace, the eighteen year old Bisschop moved to Delft to work under W.H. Schmidt (1809-1849). Before eventually settling down in The Hague in 1855, the artist studied under the tutelage of H. van Hove Bz (1814-1864) and Ch. Gleyre (1808-1874) in Paris. Fourteen years later, in 1869, Bisschop married the English artist Catherine Seaton Forman Swift (1834-1928), also known as Kate Swift. Until the artist's death in 1904, he and his wife resided in a luxurious villa in Scheveningen called the Villa Frisia. In an article published in s'Gravenhage in onze tijd in 1893, art critic J. Gram highly praised the couple's taste and describes the villa's interior as a gem:"Achter het hotel de la Promenade begint het Van Stolkpark. Eene dier Villa's, Frisia geheten, wordt bewoond door het schilderpaar Bisschop, die van hun interieur een Zeventiende-eeuwsch juweeltje hebben gemaakt".
Just like many other artists of his time, Bisschop was a fervent collector of antiques and put these objects to artistic use. His collection is however remarkable not only for its sheer size, but also for the prominent role it fulfils in his paintings. As is evident in his oeuvre, the artist especially took a great interest in mediaeval, 17th century and folklore art. Nowadays, the artist's vast collection of antiques is situated in the Fries Museum, where the atmosphere of the old Villa Frisia is brought to life in so-called Bisschop rooms.
The present lot is a fine example of the way Bisschop combined his love for antiques with his talent for painting intimate genre pieces. One can assume Bisschop completed the picture before 1892, as an etching after the painting was published in the magazine Eigen Haard that very year.