The seige of Lyon in 1793 all but destroyed the city's important silk industry and prompted Napoleon to found the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1807. The Emperor's decree stated that "the chief purpose of the school will be to give tuition to artists whose talents will be devoted mainly to the silk industry". The lucrative prospects of working in floral design had always attracted a number of talented flower painters to relocate from Paris and the added preeminence of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts ensured that the Lyonnais school achieved recognition at the forefront of the field.
Charles-Joseph Node moved to Lyon circa 1854, at the height of the silk industry, from when he began to exhibit at the Lyon Salon, the annual flower painting showcase for the best of the city's silk designers. Node had been trained in Paris and was part of the new breed of flower painters who were willing to sacrifice a certain amount of botanical accuracy for a stronger, more modern decorative effect.