Henri Ottmann was a highly successful artist blessed with a wonderfully dexterous ability, known for painting still lifes, nudes and scenes of modern life. His paintings are characterised by translucent tones and tonal consistency, which is certainly true of this painting. Even the dictionary by Benezit complains that his work was ignored for too long, and that but for a fatal car accident at the age of 50 he would have become one of the most important artists of his generation. He left an unfinished body of work, having just begun a series of large canvases of modern life painted in an adventurous style. His work has fetched as much as £30,000 at auction.
Ottmann regarded the work of Renoir very highly and learnt from studying his paintings, but thought his tones sometimes too harsh. He began exhibiting in 1904, in Brussels, and then in Paris from 1905 at the Salon des Indépendants. His early career was extremely difficult and he endured great poverty, but by painting commercial work he survived. He then made a reputation painting still lifes. After he became fully established he changed his style to one with both deco and cubist influences and which is highly distinctive. His paintings are represented in many French museums, including the Modern Museum in Paris and the Luxembourg Museum in Paris.