Paris born French painter Fernand Pelez was born on January 18, 1843. Pelez's father was also a painter and helped teach his son the craft. Pelez never experienced commercial success in his lifetime. In the 1880s Pelez refocused from painting historical figures to painting the working class. When his painting, "L'Humanité", was poorly received at the Salon of 1896, Pelez was crushed and after which he became a recluse and refused to sell and exhibit his work for many years. After his death in 1913 his family and friends helped Pelez gain the fame he couldn't get in his lifetime. They mounted many important exhibitions of his paintings throughout Europe. His work is known for its avant-garde realistic style. “Grimaces and Misery” was painted in 1888.