He could be described as a minor master; he was not widely known outside Germany, yet his humorous works deserve proper recognition for the quality of the painting and the finesse of his observations. Spitzweg's works occupy a prominent place in the national art collection of Germany.
Starting as a pharmacist, Spitzweg later abandoned the scientific life in order to devote himself wholly to his art. He began to exhibit in 1836, and later travelled to France and England, where he absorbed the influence of the satirical artists of the day.
An important characteristic of the work of this artist is that it is very "true" in its representation of what are always pleasant subjects. Painted with extreme exactitude, his images are humorous and gently coloured. Spitzweg was spiritual, spontaneous and sharp-witted. Despite his astuteness, he portrayed all his subjects with great good humour and with a total absence of malice. His images reflected his perpetual curiosity, and during his long, creative life he created numerous tableaux of ordinary lives, containing no pretensions to grand passions.