Elchanon Verveer lived and worked in The Hague, where he started his artistic career as a wood engraver. In 1845, however, he decided to take painting lessons at the Hague Academy, where he was taught by his brother Samuel and H.F.C. ten Cate. Verveer mainly painted genre scenes related to the hard life of fishermen, a pre-eminently 19th-century theme. Initially, artists painted 'innocent' scenes such as busy fisherwomen, interior scenes, and the fleet at sea or on the beach. Later, charged images arose, such as the waiting fisherwoman, uncertain about her husband's fate.