Well, here are women supported by all of the late-19th & early 20th-century popular portrait props - fans & mirrors & parasols & Japanese prints & books & flowers & more parasols. They are not underprivileged in any way, but most of them do not seem happy. Most appear to be worrying & contemplating & depressed & lonely. These ladies are certainly not the liberated European women of the early 20th-century, which we encounter in other portraits. Post Impressionist Belgian painter Fernand Toussaint was born into a cultivated upper-middle class family in Brussels. At the age of 15, Toussaint began his education at the Art Academy of Brussels under portrait painter Jean-François Portaels from 1889 - 1894. Toussaint left for Paris in 1891, continuing his studies under Belgian portraitist Alfred Stevens. Toussaint divided his time between Belgium & Paris, often painting commissioned portraits for affluent members of European society. Avant-garde art magazines in Paris took notice of him, when he was awarded the gold medal for a portrait of a lady at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1929. Throughout his career, Toussaint also painted marinescapes, landscapes, genre scenes, interiors, & still lifes.