Born into a family of painters in the southern Tyrol, Platzer became the chief exponent of the Austrian Rococo style. Although mainly a painter of history and allegories, it was the brilliant jewel-like colors and meticulous finish of his small-scale cabinet paintings depicting conversation pieces such as these which established Platzer's reputation as the unrivalled exponent of the Austrian Rococo. His only serious rival in this field was his friend Franz Christoph Janneck, whom he had met upon his arrival at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst in Vienna in 1726, and who painted a number of works in a very similar if somewhat less detailed manner. Platzer's miniaturist technique and predilection for the use of copper as a support reveal his clear debt to the Leiden fijnschilders of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Bucolic country house themes with elegant figures in Arcadian settings, playing music or attending to rural activities such as in the present pair of coppers provided him with a chance to display his skill in painting contrasting textures and lush landscapes. These two finely preserved coppers are exceptional examples of Platzer's conversation pieces, in which figures are shown in everyday situations in elegant landscape or interior settings. Often painted in pairs, other examples include those sold at Sotheby's, London, 7 July 2004, lot 53 and Sotheby's, London, 8 December, 2004, lot 50.
We are grateful to Christina Pucher, who has confirmed the attribution.