Ernest Louis Lessieux was born on 3 August 1848 in La Rochelle on the west coast of France. He was a skilful watercolourist and draughtsman developing a career as both a teacher and an exhibiting artist. In 1865, Lessieux moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts under the draughtsman and printmaker, Maxime Lalanne, and the painter and illustrator, Luc-Olivier Merson. Five years later, in 1870, he volunteered to serve in the army in the war against Prussia.
Between 1884 and 1886, Lessieux travelled to holiday with his family in Menton, on the Riviera, for the sake of his health. Some ten years later in 1897, the family settled in the town, in Maison Cerutti, Rue de la Marne, a house decorated with murals by the local artist, Guillaume Cerutti-Maori. Lessieux soon became successful and wealthy by giving lessons in art, mainly to the many English visitors.
Lessieux died at home, at the Maison Cerrutti, Menton, on 4 January 1925.
As for Tatiana or how he came to take pictures of her on the beach no one really knows.
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