Borie had studied under William Merritt Chase and Thomas Anschutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), and he had won PAFA’s Carol Beck Gold Medal for portraiture in 1910.
His family was French, and he spent considerable time in Paris, immersed in the forward-looking art scene of the late nineteenth century. Borie's family was part of Philadelphia’s affluent cultural elite. After the failure of his family’s bank in 1905, the artist supported himself in part as a portraitist, capitalizing on his family’s society connections. Borie developed a practice that combined the realist approach he absorbed from his mentors at PAFA with the casual elegance, luminous color, and painterly sophistication of French Impressionism. He encouraged other American artists to embrace modern French painting. While his likenesses tended to follow the more traditional tastes of his clients, the artist’s still lifes and garden scenes, usually made for himself or close associates, were more progressive in style.