In this painting of a butcher’s shop, the artist positions the busy figures in the background where their activity cannot distract the viewer. Instead, emphasis is placed on the array of meat products in the foreground, where the eye can fully appreciate the artist’s attention to detail. Blending still life and the domestic genre within one painting, this work is representative of Beuckelaer’s mature style.
It is not certain how so many of Beuckelaer’s paintings entered the Farnese collection in Parma, which then passed to Naples in the eighteenth century. The dynasty had close ties to the Netherlands, where duchess Marghertia of Parma was regent from 1559–1567 and her son Alessandro was posted until his death in 1592. The Flemish master’s canvases were likely acquired during this period.