Édouard Moyse is considered the first artist in France to regularly depict scenes from Jewish life. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from a young age and began exhibiting at the Paris Salon as early as 1845.
Moyse chose to paint Jewish life at a time of great anti-semitism in France where anti-Jewish riots had accompanied the 1848 revolution. His pieces often depicted the synagogue, scenes of circumcision or blessings and painful events from Jewish history. Nicknamed ‘the painter of the rabbis’, his critical and commercial success in the genre paved the way for two other late 19th century French painters of Jewish subjects - Jacques Émile Édouard Brandon and Alphonse Lévy.