Levy-Dhurmer began his early career as a ceramist and had his first one-man show at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1896. Following this early sucess he was invited to exhibit at the Salons de Rose Coix, but declined. His talent was discovered by the Belgian Symbolist writer Georges Rodenbach, a popular poet in Paris known for his book Burges-la-Morte of 1892. One of Levy-Dehmur's masterpieces was his pastel portrait of Rodenback that is a now at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. His fascination with pastel began in 1896 and lasted until the end of his life. With pastel Levy-Dhurmer was able to acheve a velevty soft tone that would add a dream like mystery to his compositions.
After 1900, Levy-Dhurmer concentrated on portraying the female nude. He "depicted nudes, very much in the turn of the century vein, modeled with a dreamy vaporousness, in an endeavor to make the female anatomy render an equivalent of the auditory impressions of Beethoven, Fauré and Debussy's music." (P.L. Mathieu, The Symbolist Generation, Geneva, 1990). These works were charcateristic of the "artistic haziness" which was also popular in photography during the early twentieth cenury.