Between the years 1880 and 1886 Corcos resided in Paris. He submitted his first entry to the Salon of 1881 and quickly became noted for his images of elegant women, dressed in the height of fashion and posed in familiar outdoor settings: along the boulevards, at the beach, or attending the Opera. Corcos' precise draftsmanship and high finish enabled him to create almost photographic images of his subjects. Corcos sold many of his pictures through Adolphe Goupil, who also represented Jean Léon Gérôme, William Adolphe Bouguereau, Guiseppe De Nittis and Giovanni Boldini. The pictures were eagerly collected by wealthy American collectors on their "grand tours" and by European collectors alike.
An elegant Woman at St. Malo was painted just three years after Corcos arrived in Paris and it shows and elegant woman with the harbor of St. Malo in the distance. A historic port on the coast of Normandy, St. Malo was a gathering place for Parisian society who ventured there for seaside holidays. The woman depicted in our painting is beautifully rendered and full attention is given to the depiction of her dress with its sumptuous fabrics, satin bows, fur shawl and pearl encrusted jewelry. The bright light of mid-day sparkles across the water and catches the sails of the boats while serving to emphasize the beautiful alabaster tone of her skin. Corcos captures this young beauty in a moment of reflection, her gaze seemingly focused on an object beyond the viewer.