Léon François Comerre was born on 10 October 1850 in Trélon as the son of a school teacher. In 1853 he moved with his family to Lille. From an early age he was interested in art and became a pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille, where he won a gold medal in 1867. From 1868 he received a scholarship at the famous École national supérieure des Beaux -Arts in Paris. There he fell under the influence of Orientalism. Comerre dealt with portraiture, portraits of odalisks as well as mythological and historical scenes.