Peel combined illustrative realism with a powerful command of form and structure that is often reminiscent of both Corot and Courbet. His feeling for the quality of light was also extremely sensitive, though his choice of a since discredited area of anecdotal genre painting may still perhaps militate against a fair appreciation of his true qualities. The artist's remarkable versatility is demonstrated with this lively transcription of a painting by the popular Charles Chaplin (1825-1891). Peel was ready to turn his brush to a variety of themes and styles, doubtless in a desperate attempt to find one that would strike a responsive chord with the public. The subject here would appear to be the quintessence of superficial frivolity, but Peel in his version succeeds in transforming it into a jeu d'esprit of genuine warmth and charm.

Notes courtesy of M. Greenwood, Curator of Art, Art Gallery of York University from the catalogue to the exhibition, Another World: Salon and Academy Paintings c. 1805 - 1925 where this work was once exhibited.