Ellen Day Hale was born in 1855 in Worchester, Massachusetts, into a prominent Boston family that encouraged her artistic talent. Hale studied with painter William Morris Hunt who encouraged his students to travel to Europe to study art. Hale made several trips to Paris between 1881 and 1885, attending the Academie Colarossi and studying with Carolus-Duran after 1882. Later she studied with William Adolphe Bouguereau, husband of Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau in this collection, at the Academie Julian. In 1885 Hale exhibited at the Paris Salon for the first time before returning to the United States to live. In 1902, she moved to Washington, D.C., exhibiting at the Corcoran Gallery over the years.