In the late 1870s artists from various parts of Europe and America settled in Paris where there was a concentration of private academies and studios, galleries and exhibition halls. The intense artistic life of the French capital not only made it possible to obtain a good education, but provided the opportunity to display one's work at exhibitions. Artists from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, America and Scandinavia formed international colonies, the largest of which was not far from Paris, in the small village of Grez-sur-Loing. "As well as Impressionism, we studied the whole history, mastering not only the art of the French Impressionists, but all the important trends in European art between 1870 and 1890..." wrote the Swedish art historian A.L. Romdahl.
Exponents of so-called National Romanticism, the Norwegian Fritz Thaulow, the Swede Anders Zorn, and the Finns Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Albert Edelfelt, who were educated in Paris, managed to combine their newly acquired skills with the artistic traditions of their national schools and did a great deal to promote the revival of painting in their own countries.
At the same time many well-known fin de siècle artists connected with various national schools and interested in the latest trends in contemporary art were trained in Paris studios. The work of the most talented adherents to the traditions of the French school of painting is represented by Arrangement in Blue and Black by the American British painter James McNeill Whistler, Mother and Child (1890s) by the American Mary Cassatt, The Road to School in Edam and Girl with a Cow (1880s) by the German Max Liebermann, White Night. Aasgardstrand (1902-1903) by the Norwegian Edvard Munch, The Market by the Englishman Frank Brangwyn and Self-Portrait by the Spaniard Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleto.