Mante was a photographer, inventor, chemist and professional musician. Some photo historians have credited Mante with inventing a color process very similar to the Autochrome, dubbed “Mantochrome”, as early as the 1890s, although evidence for this claim is highly suspect. Goldschmidt was a wealthy, younger photographer, who married one of Mante’s daughters. All three of Mante’s daughters embarked on careers in ballet and occasionally posed for the painter Degas. Mante and Goldschmidt’s Autochromes tended to be influenced by Orientalist and Neo-Classical concerns as well as by Art Nouveau. Many of their Autochromes display an affinity toward elaborate painted backdrops and exotic props, though nearly all their photographs were taken in either the studio of Goldschmidt’s home or special studio constructed by the inventor and photographer Jules Richard.
Nearly all of Mante’s and Goldschmidt’s Autochromes display an affinity toward the use of elaborate props. These particular Neo-Classcial Grecian columns appear in a number of their images. The model is often posed holding grapes, or a mirror, or, as in this case, holding a fan.