According to Paja Jovanović's autobiography, the inspiration for this painting arose from an event during his summer holidays in 1882, which were spent at home in Vršac. A neighbour, Mita, came to visit the Jovanović family outfitted in full military garb. Paja's brother Aleksandar – Šandor pulled out Mita's yatagan (sword) and began to brandish with it. In the moment when Mita caringly leaned towards the boy to take the weapon from his hands, an idea for a new painting sparkled in Paja's head. "They formed such a sublime group, in sculptural terms, that I enthusiastically grabbed my palette and began to capture on canvas what I saw before me." It was the inspiration for one of Paja Jovanović's most famous paintings titled Fencing or Fencing Lesson, which would earn him praises, awards and numerous commissions.