Van Brekelenkam was one of the artists, the most highly regarded in the late seventeenth century, who were practitioners of fijnschilderei (literally, “fine painting”). Those painters, whose meticulous work characterized the Leiden school, endeavoured to depict daily life. He executed many scenes of artisans’ workshops, domestic interiors and businesses marked by a refined realism in the style of De Hooch, as well as a subtle chiaroscuro derived from Rembrandt and his first pupil, Dou. Made over a period of more than ten years, his paintings of workshop interiors constitute the most numerous set of works in the genre. They generally are clear in their structure; the spaces in them are well defined and their static compositions, rendered in a limited palette, are lit from the left. Van Brekelenkam used the same type of composition in thirteen paintings, in which the only variation was the presence of a woman or female customer.