Henri Edmond Cross was born in Douai in 1856. He first studied painting in Lille, and then continued in Paris. In 1883 he changed his name to Cross. In 1884 he took part in the founding of the Salon des Indépendants, where he met Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Cross belonged to the group of Neo-Impressionists. For health reasons he settled on the Mediterranean coast, but he remained in touch with Paris, notably through Signac, who frequently worked at his villa in Saint-Tropez. In 1903 Cross travelled to Venice; he greatly admired the city and the Venetian masters. In 1904 he met Henri Matisse, a major influence, in Saint-Tropez. Cross’s solo exhibition in the Galerie Druet in 1905 was highly praised by art critics. Until his death in 1910 in Saint-Clair, in southern France, Cross showed his work in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg and Weimar.