This picture illustrates a passage from a German ballad translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1843:"I know a maiden fair to see, / Take care! / She can both false and friendly be, / Beware! Beware! / Trust her not / She is fooling thee."The Italian-born Perugini arrived in London in 1863, where he apprenticed to Frederic, Lord Leighton. The model in this picture appears in several Leighton oils of the mid-1860s. Perugini exhibited his painting at the Royal Academy in 1868, the same year that Leighton exhibited the Institute's Jonathan's Token to David. The great Pre-Raphaelite master, John Everett Millais, acquired Perugini’s picture at that exhibition. In 1873, Perugini married Kate Dickens, the only daughter of Charles Dickens. He would become a very fashionable painter of neo-classical subjects, yet he rarely surpassed the enchanting virtuosity of this early masterwork.