The present drawing of the actress Madame Réjane, is one of a number of drawings (1856-1920), Beardsley executed of the actress at the height of his interest in the theatre. The choice of red chalk as a medium is unusual for Beardsley, but may be explained by this drawing being sketched during the run of her play 'Madame Sans-Gêne’ at the Gaiety Theatre, June 1894. Stephen Calloway suggests that the arrangement of light and shade may well be a result of the low angle of stage footlights. Having sketched the actress in the portable medium of chalk, the pen decorations, inscription and borders were probably added later in the studio. The present drawing was probably used as the model for the other drawings of Réjane, including one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and for the Yellow Book (Reade, op.cit., no. 359). This drawing was formerly in the collection of the rare book dealer, Frederick Evans (1853–1943), an early patron of Beardsley.