Vittorio Corcos began his studies at the Accademia delle Belli Arti in Florence and later under the direction of Domenico Morelli at the Naples Academy.
In 1880, Corcos settled in Paris and began exhibiting at the Salon shortly thereafter. While in Paris, Corcos found no shortage of patronage for his idyllic images of female beauty and was represented by the great dealer Adolphe Goupil who commissioned many of the portraits he is most admired for.
Images of female beauty were so highly prized in the late 19th Century, that for the first time there were large numbers of portrait style paintings created solely for the purpose of depicting such beauty. These portraits were not painted so much as to flatter or represent a particular sitter, as they were intended to simply please the eye of the beholder.
Vittorio Corcos, along with other great artists of the Belle Époque such as Jean Béraud, Giovanni Boldini and Paul Cesar Helleu, infused the popular genre of female beauty with a greater sense of style and sophistication. Dress and fashionable interiors complimented these créatures de beauté with a focus on luxe textures and surfaces. Celebrating the prevailing taste for luxury that characterized the time, these pictures were welcome adornments to the walls in the equally opulent interiors of the wealthy.
In The New Kitten, Corcos features a captivating beauty standing in front of rococo mirror in a state of half dress. She gazes dreamily at the viewer as an adorable young kitten attempts to climb the tulle of satin dress.
Upon his return to Florence, Corcos abandoned his popular imagery of beauty for beauty's sake and concentrated primarily on serious portraiture. He spent the remainder of his artistic career devoted to immortalizing Italian and foreign dignitaries as well as figures from literature.