Franx Xavier Kosler was born in Vienna on 18 August 1864 and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in March on 1881. At the Academy he was a student of Leopold Carl Müller during 1884 and 1885, who kindled Kosler's interest in Orientalist subject matter. In 1886, he departed for the Dalmatian coast, Montenegro and Albania. His first trip to Egypt in 1892 resulted in a portrait painting of the Archbishop Porphyrini of Sina, and his second trip to Egypt, in 1894, was subsidized by the Archduke Ferdinand Karl in return for the delivery of two paintings depicting that part of the world. The following year, a collective exhibition of Orientalist paintings in Cairo brought Kosler further recognition as well as commissions for Orientalist portraits, like that of Said Halim Pasha painted in 1894. In 1895 Kosler also worked on a number of important portrait commissions in Vienna, such as two portraits of the Archduke Ferdinand Karl and in 1896 a portrait of the Gräfin Palffy-Schlippenbach.
In Cairo, Kosler was able to make the acquaintance of a wealthy Englishman, who made the necessary arrangements for Kosler to exhibit two works, entitled Un Vendeur de légumes au Caire and Un Mendiant aveugle, at the Royal Academy in 1906. The fact that these works were exhibited a year after Kosler's premature death attests to the warm welcome his works received in England. Even today most of Kosler's works are still in British private collections.
Kosler's intimate portraits reveal a great deal about the sitter's state of being. In the present lot one can sense the slight discomfort born out of shyness in the eyes and lips of the young girl.