Anton Laupheimer was a German genre painter who was born in Erbach, near Ulm, on June 23, 1848. He was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, eventually becoming a full professor with a teaching position in Munich. He won medals at Anvers in 1885, Muich in 1890, and Berlin in 1891.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the private lives of the members of the Roman Catholic Church proved fascinating subject matter for a number of popular painters and patrons. The popularity of these intimate, behind-the-scenes genre paintings has remained remarkably constant, even more so than other brands of nineteenth century painting.
There is no doubt, speculate Philip Hook and Mark Poltimore in their book Popular 19th Century Painting, that “collectors and spectators took pleasure in the sight of noble figureheads of the church reduced to banal, even undignified proportions. The comedy was appealing, and the anti-clerical message suited the prevailing political mood of the buying public. Merely to depict a cardinal in the privacy of hiss intimate surroundings was a recipe to delight the voyeuristic instincts of the nineteenth century clientele. There was an aura of intrigue, mystery and grandeur about the inner sancta of the Roman Catholic Church which could not fail to please when opened to keyhole scrutiny.”