Louis Ernest Fortuné Andrieux was a French painter, engraver, lithographer and pastel artist born in 1875. As there was another painter in France at the time named Louis Andrieux, he decided to adopt the name Fortuney to avoid confusion. He was a friend of the sculptor Auguste Rodin who invited him to come to his house in the south of France, at Cagnes-sur-mer to paint. This opportunity would have a profound effect on his work as he became inspired by the light of the Mediterranean In the early years of the twentieth century he obtained a commission from the French government to paint a series of large and important murals to decorate the Ministry of the Navy in Paris. In the years either side of World War One he changed from painting maritime subjects to scenes of Parisian life. During this period Fortuney painted many genre scenes depicting women on the streets of Paris. He was particularly skilled in the handling of pastel and excelled in rendering the velvety texture of fabrics and skin tones.