Saint-Jean was the son of an important and well recognized artist Simon Saint-Jean. It has been noted that he probably trained under his father to a great extent as well. Paul is recognized for his genre and portrait work and certainly we see here a special talent to enliven his sitter. He did not have a long life and he made his debut at the Salon in 1866, so this work was just beginning to be done at a time when he would have been coming into the best period of his career. He died a few years later. We do not see a lot of work by this artist in the market probably, and unfortunately, due to his untimely death. However, a canvas such as this and beautiful handling of the white blouse, use of elegant blues and superb drawing skills belies that he would have gone on to be more recognized. At least two noted museums in Europe hold works by him; the Musee d’Utrecht and Le Musee de Rouen.