The artist is Hilkova
In 1842, a female department located in the premises of the customs building on Vasilyevsky Island was established at the St. Petersburg Drawing School. They taught “various branches of needlework, in which women participate”. The department was patronized by the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. For classes held twice a week, girls were allowed only accompanied by relatives or governesses. Men could be present only with the special permission of the Minister of Finance. The picture with documentary accuracy reproduces the decoration of the class interior, textbooks, and the clothes of pupils. In 1855, for this picture, Khilkov received a small silver medal.