Born in the small Belgian town of Popperinge in 1832, Theodore Ceriez would become a celebrated painter of genre scenes much revered in Belgium. His early promise as a painter was encouraged by his family who, at the age of sixteen, enrolled him at the nearby Academy of Ypres to study art. He would remain there until 1851 taking drawing and painting lessons from Desire Böhm. After graduating he continued his studies, firstly at the Antwerp Academy (1851-1854) before finishing in Paris where he apprenticed to the painter Jean-Baptiste Fauvelet. It was Fauvelet who would have the greatest influence on the young artist and who would encourage him to specialize in figural works. He remained in Paris until 1862 but found it difficult to make headway in the highly competitive French art establishment. Returning to Belgium he at first painted costume pieces depicting his subjects in the sumptuous clothing of eighteenth France, very much in the style of Fauvelet. These proved popular and he soon gained a keen following amongst the public and critics alike. By the late 1860’s he had abandoned the painting of the aristocratic classes and was concentrating on painting the everyday folk about their daily lives. These proved even more popular especially amongst the Flemish who had a history of appreciation of such subject matters. In 1873 he was asked to teach at the Academy of Ypres and it is as an academic that he is perhaps best remembered. In 1891 he became Director of the Academy a post he held for seven years before he retired in 1898. He continued to live in Ypres where he died in 1904. His works today can be seen at the Museums of both Ypres and Popperinge in the Flanders. This particular painting dates to around 1870 and perfectly illustrates his predilection for painting everyday scenes and his close attention to detail.