Robert Schiff is a typical painter of the Viennese Belle Epoque, a period in which economics, technology, theatre, literature and music flourished as never before. During these years, painters were highly regarded and associated with the Vienna Secession or exhibited in the Künstlerhaus. Schiff was educated at the academy in Vienna and then went to Munich, Berlin and Paris for study purposes. The loose painting style and fleeting brushstroke of his genre scenes and portraits show that he had studied the work of the Parisian painters well. In 1897 he married the well-known stage actress and artist Gina Eibenschütz.