Raffaelli initially had a career on the stage. Assisted by Gérome he debuted at the Salon in 1870. During a trip to Brittany in 1876 he turned his back on genre painting to paint scenes from life with an element of sobriety which can be seen in Les invités attendant la noce in the Louvre. Degas took notice of his work and against the wishes of the other members of his group (his palette was very sombre in comparison to their works), ensured that Raffaelli's work was in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1880 and 1881. After executing portraits of Clemenceau and Edmond de Goncourt, Raffaelli returned to genre painting. He had his work printed with some success. he was awarded a gold medal in 1889, made Chevalier and Officier de la Légion d'Honneur and a member of La Societé Nationale des Beaux Arts. His works are housed in many museums across Europe.