Seville's most popular painter in the later 17th century was Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
While Murillo is well known for works with religious themes, he also produced a number of genre paintings of figures from contemporary life engaged in ordinary pursuits. These pictures often possess a wistful charm; Two Women at a Window is a striking example. A standing woman attempts to hide a smile with her shawl as she peeks from behind a partially opened shutter, while a younger woman leans on the windowsill, gazing out at the viewer with amusement. The difference in their ages might indicate a chaperone and her charge, a familiar duo in upper-class Spanish households. Covering one's smile or laugh was considered good etiquette among the aristocracy.
The convincingly modeled, life-size figures, framed within an illusionistically painted window, derive from Dutch paintings that were meant to fool the eye.