Born in Germany, Boetticher is said to have served in the Prussian army before he came to the United States around 1850. He was active as an artist in New York from 1851 to 1859, working in firms that specialized in portraiture and lithography. He is best known today for his images of contemporary military life. This painting depicts a muster of the Seventh Regiment on the northwest corner of the Washington Square parade ground. In the background are two Gothic Revival–style edifices, New York University’s main building (also known as the University Building), to the left, and the Reformed Dutch Church, toward the center; both were demolished in the early 1890s.