This particular example of the artist’s work can be dated to the mid 1920’s and may have been painted while on a visit to Venice in 1924 when he was exhibiting at the Exposition Internationale d’Art. Gustave Max Stevens was born in the Brussels suburb of Sint-Joost-ten-Noode in 1871. At the age of 15 he enrolled at the Academy of Brussels where he received training in figurative painting under the guidance of Jan Portaels. Portaels’ predilection for painting the female form was to be emulated by Stevens throughout his career. He remained at the Academy of Brussels until 1890 when he moved to Paris to continue his studies at the atelier of Fernand Cormon. It was around this time that he became aware of, and enthralled by, the English pre-Raphaelite artists with their tightly detailed style of painting and fascination with allegorical and mythological subjects. Stevens chose to paint in a similar manner until 1902 when, after a visit to North Africa, his style and palette became more impressionist. Always an innovator, Gustave Max Stevens was well respected in the Belgian art community and in 1903 had become a founding member of the influential group, ‘Le Sillon’, a society where he would eventually become president. He also exhibited at the avant-garde, Salon d’Art Idealiste and was a member of the exhibition society known as ‘L’Estampe’. During the 1930’s and early 1940’s the work of Gustave Max Stevens became increasingly more repetitive, never reaching the heights of his early oeuvre. He died in Brussels in 1946 but his paintings can be seen today in the Maison des Bouchers Museum in Antwerp and the museums of Brussels and Ixelles in Belgium.