Originally from Itu, in São Paulo, he enrolled at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro in 1869, and received his highest award (gold medal) from that institution five years later. He returned to his native city in 1875, where he stayed for only one year thanks to a scholarship granted by Emperor Dom Pedro II to study in Europe. During his stay in the old continent, Almeida Júnior produced several iconic works of his career - as "Descanso do modelo" (1882) - and participates in various exhibitions in France and Italy. Back in Brazil in 1882, he set up his studio in São Paulo in the following year, where he portrayed various personalities of Brazilian society - such as Princess Isabel and, on another occasion, the Emperor D. Pedro II. The publication "Imprensa Ytuana", on April 27, 1884, describes how his work environment was: "His atelier -- if this little square room can be called that --, with low light and full of reflections -- it is equipped with a large number of studies, sketches and paintings, if each of them can't be considered a complete work of art (and some are) -- represents at least one stage of the artist's life, a moment of inspiration, an hour of joy, or one of profound study [...]. Today the artist paints the graceful, petulant, soft and rosy profile of a feminine head, tomorrow the angular forms -- so fond of Miguel Angelo -- of an old nude, almost an anatomical piece, covered in wrinkled yellowish parchment, with quick contrasts of light and shadow." He died, on account of a passion crime, on November 13, 1899, and is considered one of the most admired artists of São Paulo in the nineteenth century.