Rudolf Ernst settled in Paris in 1876, adopting French nationality, much like his close friend Ludwig Deutsch. Both artists had a significant impact as the second generation of French Orientalist painters. While the first generation, with artists such as Vernet, Colin and Delacroix, were inspired by contemporary socio-political events, the second generation, Gérôme, Discart, Deutsch and Ernst, were more interested in depicting scenes of daily life in the Middle East. Ernst first travelled to Spain followed by Morocco, Tunis, Egypt and Constantinople.
Gifted students of Gérôme, both Rudolf Ernst and Ludwig Deutsch implemented the great academic master's naturally accurate and detailed renderings and were inspired by his use of bright colors. Ernst's particular strength was his capability to freely combine artifacts, textiles, colors, tiles and architectural elements of the East. In Jeunes femmes sur la terasse, a dramatic mountainous landscape with a large palace grace the background of the composition. The soft sunset over the water glitters in purples and yellows while its reflection on the limestone enriches them with soft hues of red. The elegant ladies dressed in fine textiles threaded with silver and gold fixate their pensive gaze toward distant lands while the luscious pink roses, one of the five imperial flowers of the Ottoman Empire, emphasise their noble blood. Such fine tunics, jewellery, headscarves and shoes were the essential elements in the wardrobe of a lady.