The Naples-born Agostina Segatori owned the café Le Tambourin on the Boulevard de Clichy in Paris. Van Gogh had a brief relationship with her. On the wall to the right is a Japanese print of two geisha girls. Probably van Gogh, who was fascinated by Japanese woodcuts, painted the café proprietor at the time of a sales exhibition of Japanese prints that he himself had organized (see letter to Theo van Gogh, 5 July 1888).
Agostini Segatori sits at a table whose top is shaped like a tambourine, as are the stool seats. The same stool design can be seen in Basket of pansies.