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Jules Tavernier grew up in Paris and received his artistic training at the Ecole de Beaux Arts, often exhibiting at the Paris Salon. He emigrated to America after the Franco-Prussian War and was despatched to San Francisco in 1874 to do illustrations for articles in Harper’s Weekly. Tavernier found the culture and environment so stimulating that he made San Francisco his permanent home. A fun-loving, high-living bon vivant, he was particularly attracted to the activities of the newly-founded Bohemian Club. As a friend remembered after the turn of the century, “He was a prince of Bohemians, a Bohemian to the queen’s taste…” Tavernier was skillful at creating a sense of mystery out of entirely credible images.