This painting, particularly the use of colour, marks a new phase of Weissenbruch's work. He had been searching for new, lighter colour harmonies and in this work he began to see how he could achieve them. The painting was bought in 1887, the year it was painted, by the Vereeniging tot het Oprichten van een Museum voor Moderne Kunst te 's-Gravenhage (Society for the Foundation of a Museum of Modern Art in The Hague) at the Tentoonstelling van Levende Meesters (Exhibition of Living Masters). Tradition has it that Weissenbruch was not at home when the Society decided to purchase it, but was engaged in exercises as a conscript grenadier. The story goes that his father wrote the good news on a piece of cardboard, along with the price (800 guilders) , so that his son could read it as he marched back along Kazernestraat past the family home. Dr van Gelder said that this unlikely story originally came from Weissenbruch's son. However, Weissenbruch was no longer 'young' in 1887 ; he was already 63 years old - a rather advanced age to be taking part in military exercises as a conscript grenadier - and his father would have been a centenarian (he was born in 1787). Thus the story probably relates to another painting.
Source: R. de Leeuw, J. Sillevis, Ch. Dumas (eds.), The Hague School: Dutch masters of the 19th century, The Hague 1983