When an illustrator uses allusion to act as the foundation of their concept, they highlight or point to knowledge that is shared by the general public. This recognition centers on historical and popular culture; poetry, writing, art history, cinematography and commonly shared themes found throughout the ages. This piece uses allusion. Often the tool bridges a concept in term of time; it says "same as it ever was", or conversely, "here is the change we've experienced." In arty-farty terms, allusion contextualizes a piece. Alluding to something sets a framework for understanding.
In this case, I take the entire composition of Dutchman Van Mieris' 1661, oil on copper painting to refer to "an artist" and/or culture as well as to art history, broadly speaking. I am also able to refer to technical aptitude, tradition and work that is accomplished by "a master" at the same time.
It's a very handy trick of the trade.