In his early artistic career Wouwerman was influenced by Pieter van Laer (1592-1642) one of the famous Bamboccianti who returned from Rome to Haarlem in 1638. This group of mostly
Dutch artists working in Rome depicted street scenes. After the death of Van Laer, Wouwerman acquired his drawings according to Houbraken. (A. Houbraken, De groote schouburgh, (1718-21). Vol. II, p. 71). In this pictures Van Laers influence is seen in the figures.
An almost identical version of the present painting, signed by Philips' brother Jan Wouwerman (1629-1666) is in the Princely Liechtenstein collection, Vaduz (For this picture by Jan Wouwerman see R. Baumstark, Masterpieces from the Collection of the Princes of Liechtenstein, 1980, p. 231, reproduced figure 103. Or W. Bernt, The Netherlandish Painters of the Seventeenth Century, III, 1970, no. 1425, illustrated.)
This painting raised the enormous sum of 310,500 USD at the 1998 sale in New York.