Pieter de Hooch's clients preferred domestic scenes that focused on contemporary life. The popularity of such imagery was generated by the increasing prosperity of a middle class that sought works expressive of their own values. In The Asparagus Vendor, the family's wealth is reflected in several details. The mistress of the house, outfitted in fine fabrics and baroque pearls, welcomes a shopkeeper delivering fresh white asparagus - always a delicacy. She turns to speak to her husband, who enters the room dressed in a rich red kimono - visual evidence of the Dutch East India Trading Company's access to Japanese culture. Note also the large kas, or wardrobe, draped with a sheet to protect the fine furniture from scratches.