A fondness for depicting family idylls, and for portraying friendships and home interiors in the finest detail was typical of the period between 1815 and 1848, which people like to refer to as "Biedermeier". This inner withdrawal resulted in fact from harsh political realities. The Napoleonic Wars had drained almost the whole of Europe, which was now plagued by famine, mass poverty and dire economic circumstances. Even members of the nobility chose to dis-pense with pomp and splendour and their lavish lifestyles. The middle-class virtues of modesty and contentment set the programme for all strata of society. Not least because people turned away from France and its culture, which had dominated their tastes up till then.
Political repression in the form of cen-sorship and bans on public assembly led additionally to a shift in social activities to the private domain. From now on, culture and social get-togethers took place behind closed doors in one’s own home. As the antithesis to the hard realities of life outside, the family was cultivated as a safe haven. The artists picked out every detail of the clothes and interiors, fabrics and fashions with the greatest precision. For in the world of small things, the detail is king.