José Benlliure y Gil, a genre painter, hailed from a family of artistic talents, being the son of a modest painter and the brother of the renowned sculptor Mariano Benlliure. His artistic journey commenced early, with studies at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Valencia and under the guidance of Francisco Domingo Marqués in a private studio.
Gerrit Dou was born in Leiden, a city that was important in the seventeenth century. Leiden was right in the middle of The Hague and Amsterdam, and it was a place where a lot of things were happening. It had a big textile industry and the first Protestant university in the Netherlands.