Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) was a highly influential painter in Vietnam, as he was the original director of the Ecole des Beaux Arts de l'Indochine, from 1925 until his death in 1937. The curriculum he developed and his pedagogical methods influenced a whole generation of Vietnamese painters.This painting by Tardieu is a study for a large mural commission which he was awarded in 1921by the Government of Indochina, for the decoration of the atrium of the University of Indochina. The mural itself was a didactic composition showing the beneficient activities of the French in Indochina, with an allegorical figure of France in the artwork's centre. The woman represented in this study is an idealised image of a Vietnamese market vendor, who appeared on the left hand side in the final mural composition. The gridlines appearing at the back of this study, as well as the draft composition of the arm and hand, show the artist's academic practice and working processes.