After completing his studies at the Art Academy in Brussels, Henri Evenepoel moved to Paris in 1892. Like many other artists he was interested in developments in French art. His most mature works were painted in the years that followed and included this portrait of his friend, the Spanish painter Francisco Iturrino. The monumental sombre figure, dressed in a wide cape, is depicted life-size in the Place Blanche. The upper part of his body is set against a lively background dominated by the bright red of the Moulin Rouge. The harmonious colours, powerful style, soberness and the daring setting which makes the figure stand out from the crowd give the subject an air of great distinction. Photographs taken in the studio show that the figure was painted before the background. The painting was the only work Evenepoel ever sold to a museum.