Blanche is best known for his portraits of eminent writers, artists and musicians. He lived near Dieppe and made frequent visits to England, where he was a well-known figure in artistic and society circles. Poictevin (1854-1904) was a French writer of the Symbolist period. A lithographic print based on this portrait was used as a frontispiece of one of his books. Degas owned this painting for many years; it hung in his bedroom. His friendship with Blanche finished in 1903 when Blanche allowed the periodical 'The Studio' to reproduce his portrait of Degas, against Degas' wishes. This portrait was probably returned to Blanche at this time.