Van Mieris was one of the Leiden ‘fijnschilders’, or fine painters – artists who worked so finely that individual brushstrokes are barely visible. This skill is demonstrated well in the woman’s shiny skirt and the fur trim of her jacket.
Here, we see a man teasing a lap dog by trying to pull its ear. But the woman is pushing him aside. The smiling man is Van Mieris himself, and the woman is his wife, Cunera van der Cock.