By 1876, he had made the decision to be an artist, so he went to Paris, where he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts and studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme. He remained there until 1882. During his stay, he became part of a group centered around Albert Edelfelt and was influenced by the Salon style of painting. His first exhibit at the Salon came in 1878.
From 1882 to 1883, he visited Egypt as the guest of Alphonse, Baron Delort de Gléon (1843-1899), a mining engineer. He settled in the French community there, painting portraits and providing illustrations, as a correspondent, for Le Monde illustré.