Jozef Israëls was born into a Jewish family in Groningen, the Netherlands. He began his art studies in his native city then furthered his training in Amsterdam and Paris, and eventually became internationally famous. Israëls was a first-generation artist of the Hague School. He brilliantly depicted nineteenth-century Dutch rural life, demonstrating a predilection for realistic scenes showing “fishermen, farmers and labourers.” In this painting, the children are sitting around the table for dinner while their mother watches out the window for her husband to return home. The figures are lost in thought, and the scene conjures up a moment of quiet and stillness. This recently restored painting comes from the family collection of Frederick Angus, an important Montreal collector who acquired it in 1888, at a time when the Hague School was particularly popular in North America.