Among the painters of École de Paris, many of whom where cursed" by a life of repeated dissipation and died tragically having suffered from poverty and the misunderstanding of others, Kisling could be called the sole exception. Born in Poland, he came to Paris when he was nineteen. After two years, he had already made contracts with art dealers and was living well. Born cheerful and open-minded, he gained many friends, and became a central figure in the nightly festivities of Paris, and came to be called "King of Montparnasse". One year before this portrait was painted. his first solo exhibition, which was a great success and secured his fame.
The model in this painting is his wife, Renée, whom he married five years before. She often posed as a model for her husband. This work was painted around the time Kisling started to establish his own style of painting. Emphasis on volume, a simplified background and a smooth and silky quality all speak undoubtedly of the beginning of the Kisling style. It is said that the two spent a happy married life filled with mutual understanding and trust. "The blessed painter" Kisling was also a good usband and father.
(Source: Selected Works from the Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum, 1998, P. 25.)