Okada began his study of art at the age of eighteen and by twenty-one he was submitting paintings to the Meiji Art Society of Asai Chu (lot 259), see lot 259. His mentors were Kuroda Seiki (lot 260) see lot 260, and Kume Keiichiro (1866-1934). Under their influence, he took up plein-air painting that he imbued with idealistic romanticism. In 1897 he was sent by the Ministry of Education to work in Paris. Upon his return to Japan in 1902 he taught at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts and the same year two of his paintings were accepted for exhibition at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904. Through his brother-in-law, the avant-garde dramatist Osanai Kaoru (1881-1928), Okada became involved with Tokyo intellectuals and, by 1912, had established his own successful teaching studio with Fujishima Takeji (1867-1943).
For a related 1928 study of a seated nude loosely draped in a kimono see Nakamura Denzaburo and Asano Toru, eds., Okada Saburosuke/Koito Gentaro, vol. 7 of Gendai Nihon Bijutsu Zenshu (Tokyo: Shueisha, 1975), pl. 25.