Adolphe Jourdan was born in Nimes on the 4th of August, 1825. On the 3rd of April, 1844, he entered the “École des Beaux-Arts” as a student of Jalabert. He received honors for his work in 1864 and 1866. From 1855 he exhibited in the Salons of Paris, and in 1876, in New York. Jourdan was renowned for his genre scenes as well as his portraits. The artist is represented in museums in Nimes, France and Toledo, USA. A superlative example of 19th century French genre painting, the present work depicts a young girl of perhaps sixteen years, embroidering, as her pet cat relaxes contentedly on her lap. The exceptional quality and execution of this work, reflects the oeuvres of Jourdan’s luminary contemporaries William Adolphe Bouguereau and Alexander Cabanel. (Indeed, Jourdan specifically assisted Cabanel in a replica of his iconic work The Birth of Venus, commissioned by the famous 19th century French dealer Goupil, now in the collection of the Dahesh Museum, New York.) Her face and eyes are tipped downward, a lock of her dark hair astray. This in turn leads the eye to the carefully modeled hands busy at her task. The opaque material of her day dress cascades down and to the right eddying around the form of her sleeping feline companion. While the overall palette is subtle and the background unadorned, the light filled shades of white, gold and brown unify the composition into a timeless image of innocence and harmony.