Ordered by the French Line (Compagnie Generale Transatlantique) for their prestigious Le Havre to New York express mail service, La Touraine was built at St. Nazaire and launched on 23rd March 1890. Registered at 8,893 tons gross and measuring 521 feet in length with a 56 foot beam, she was a twin-screw steamer capable of 15 knots and had accommodation for 392 First, 98 Second and 600 steerage class passengers. When completed, she was the fifth largest ship in the world and her size was the maximum the port of Le Havre could accept at that date. A reliable and popular vessel, she remained on the North Atlantic run until May 1913 when she was transferred onto the Quebec and Montreal summer service. Resuming her New York destination early in 1915, she was finally withdrawn in September 1922 and laid up pending sale. Last used as a hotel ship in Gothenburg during the Industrial Fair of June 1923 when she was briefly renamed Maritime, she was scrapped later that same year.
Jacobsen painted La Touraine several times, this 1894 version also being the subject of a lithograph.