This work depicts a person in profile. This individual which could be an old man or an old woman is sitting on a wooden chair. Pared with a scarf/turban on his/her head in shades of ochre and orange-pink, resting slightly on his/her forehead and tied in the back of his/her head, this person is dressed with very dark clothing. The only part in the light is his/her face.

As for the artist, François-Xavier-Aldéric Rapin, he was a native of Saint-Timothée (now Salaberry-de-Valleyfield) in Beauharnois County, in Quebec. He was born on October 25, 1868, and baptized the following day under the first name of Uldéric. He was the son of François-Xavier Rapin, an innkeeper, and Rachelle Bourdon. At his birth, he already had two brothers and six sisters. A seventh sister, Graziella, would be born the following year.

In 1891, he lived in Montreal East in the Saint-Antoine neighbourhood with his mother, a widow, and the youngest in the family, a milliner. He left for two years to continue his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. When he returned, Rapin married Léonie Rodrigue. A drawing teacher at the Conseil des arts et manufactures de Montréal in 1893-1894 and the Académie Saint-Jean-Baptiste in 1894-1895, he later taught drawing and painting in Marieville. He is the creator of a Self-Portrait and The Communicant, a work reproduced in Le Monde illustré (Montreal) on April 28, 1900. He also painted The Clearing.

Admitted to the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal in April 1901, Rapin died there one month later. He was buried on May 20 in his native village.

Despite a career that was cut too short, he made a name for himself as a genre painter, landscape painter, decorator, drawer, and portraitist.

The Musée national des Beaux-Arts du Québec owns two works by this artist, including My Room in Paris.

Donation from Yves Lamonde
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1987 979 P