Eva Gonzales is one of the very few female Impressionist painters. She was the daughter of a Spanish writer, and a Belgian Musician. She grew up in a family that appreciated the arts, and her artistic temperament was therefore nurtured by her family. She initially took lessons with Charles Chaplin, a society portraitist who ran a studio for women. Charles Chaplin also taught the American Impressionist, Mary Cassatt.
In 1869, she met Edouard Manet, and she became his student, model, and friend. In the Salon of 1870, he exhibited a portrait of her, working in front of her easel. This painting now hangs in the National Gallery in London. Until 1872, she was strongly influenced by Manet in her painting style, but after that developed her own personal style. She first exhibited in the Salon of 1870, and went on to exhibit every year thereafter. Although she was always invited to exhibit with the other Impressionists, for some reason she preferred to show her work at the Official Salon, as did Manet. Some of her favourite subjects were Theatre Goers, and women relaxing outside. It is said that it was her bright colours, and soft brushstrokes which made her paintings successful.
In 1879, she married the brother of the graphic artist Henri Geraud, and sadly went on to die in childbirth. She died five days after her mentor Manet. After her death, a retrospective was held of eighty eight of her works at the Salons of La Vie Moderne.
Many of her paintings are in public collections, and a number are in America, such as, a painting of her sister, which is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Texas, and the paintings, entitled, "Lady with a Fan", which hangs in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. As a member of the Impressionist group, her paintings are highly sought after.