Willems was born in Liège, but settled in Paris in 1844. He was awarded the highest honors and frequently decorated with medals for his painstakingly detailed images. While exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London and the Salons in Brussels and Paris, his paintings were purchased by Napoleon III, the Empress, and the King of Belgium. Today, his works hang in New York’s Metropolitan Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. Willems was infatuated with the 17th century Dutch masters and excelled in emulating their meticulous technique, which is evident in the fabric and figures in this tender scene.