Gerard Portielje came from an artistic family: he was the son of the Belgian figure painter Jan Portielje, his younger brother was Edward Portielje. Gerard was already very popular in his time for his cheerful genre scenes. They usually play out in the countryside, such as in an inn, at the notary or in the salon of a wealthy landowner. There are discussions, people playing chess or card or resting after the hunt and often there is a humorous undertone that immediately catches the eye. The painter also had a very good eye for detail: porcelain, silk and precious fabrics and rugs he paints minutely and with great knowledge.