Henri Thomas is remembered as the quintessential Belgian painter of La Belle Epoque. His images of women from the cafés, bars and bordellos of Brussels are some of the most haunting produced at the time and rival those of Toulouse Lautrec for their exactitude and sense of feeling. In this example dating to 1924 we see, Henri Thomas painting a somewhat more salubrious subject that of a lady of some standing dressed in her finest clothes. Henri Thomas was born in the town of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek in 1878 and at the age of seventeen enrolled at the Academy of Brussels. Here he received a classical training in the arts specializing in painting and etching. Graduating in 1898 he established a studio in Brussels and for a few years worked predominantly as a book illustrator producing delicate line drawings for some of Belgium’s most important avant-garde authors. By the very early years of the new century he had become primarily an easel painter and his work was gaining wide popularity as a result of his participation in the exhibitions of the Salon du Cercle Artistique de Bruxelles in 1905 and again in 1909. For the next forty years he exhibited widely throughout Belgium and various other European cities where his work was always highly prized and collected. Henri Thomas died in Brussels in 1972 but his paintings can be seen today in Belgium at the museums of Liege and Brussels.