This is from the New Rochelle School, a movement that specialized in simple depictions of contemporary interiors. Such works were commissioned by the new bourgeois class to show off their taste and wealth, and often displayed the artist's skills as well. In this instance, the work contains a depiction of two other works of art, possibly paintings he had done for the clients.

There is one detail that confounds interpretation - the small knife stuck in the carpet by the man's foot. The handle is long, the blade is black. It is possible the tool was used to drive a nail into the wall; it is also possible that it is a metaphor intended toremind the viewer that the sharp steel of lust will sunder the marital bonds. If that is a correct interpretation, then the picture takes on a different meaning: she has instructed the man to stand there in perpetuity, holding up the picture, unable to leave the house and stray from his vows.