Both the father and the son of well-known painters, Édouard Dubufe was himself a student of Paul Delaroche. Like his teacher, he painted flattering portraits worked up to a high degree of finish. The artist lived in England from 1848 to 1851 and was also influenced by the great English portraitists during his stay. The present work was painted during this English period, and depicts the French soprano Anne-Arsene Charton (1827-1892). She made her debut at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in 1843, six years before the present work was painted. She was best known for the role of Béatrice in Hector Berlioz’s Béatrice et Benoît, which she played in Baden in 1862.
In addition to the present portrait, Dubufe also undertook a second version of the portrait of Madame Charton-Demeur, identical in pose and dress to the present work, but with a more elaborate outdoor setting with a distant landscape. The artist exhibited a Portrait de Madame C... at the 1852 Salon, but it is unknown if this exhibited work was the present picture or the more elaborate version.