In its original frame, this charming portrait is a fine example of the Biedermeier style that was fashionable in Europe after the Napoleonic wars. In visual art the Biedermeier movement mingled piety with sentimentality but never abandoned its realism. It responded to an emerging urban, middle class whose tastes veered away from history and morality to more domestic, genre subjects. Contemporary furniture, architecture and music also embraced the style. Indeed one of the period’s key composers, Schubert, died the year after these aspiring musicians were depicted here perhaps practising the master’s work.