Elizabeth Nourse studied art extensively at several different schools including; Cincinnati School of Design (1874-81), Art Students League ('82, '85-6) and Acadamie Julian ('87). By 1883 Nourse was able to support herself and her sister with the sale of her work and decorative commissions. She was offered a position as a drawing instructor for CSD in 1887 but decided to study in Paris instead. Within a year of her study under Gustav Boulanger and more independent work, her painting was accepted to hang "on the line" (at eye level) in the Paris Salon. Her canvases portray intimate scenes of rural women in domestic work as well as women with children. Nourse was the first woman to have a painting purchased by the French government, which was placed in the Luxembourg Museum. She has been described as a forerunner of Social Realism.