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William Baptiste Baird was born in Chicago, moving to Paris in the 1870s where he spent most of his working life. He exhibited both in Paris, at the Salon des Beaux Arts and at the Royal Academy in London from 1877 to 1899. In 1877 he gave his address as 47, Bloomsbury Square, London; in 1879 as 20 Cheyne Row, London and from 1883 as 3, Rue Odessa, Paris.
Saint Raphael was painted after he moved to Paris in 1882, probably nearer the turn of the century.