Victor Gilbert was born in Paris in 1847and died in 1935. Gilbert established himself as a painter of French genre scene paintings. Gilbert's natural ability for drawing was acknowledged at an early age but due to financial circumstances he was required to work as an artisan. The only formal art education Gilbert received was at the hands of Pierre Levasseur at the Ecole de La Ville de Paris.
Despite his lack of training, Gilbert quickly came to the attention of the Parisian public. Gilbert first exhibited his paintings in the 1873 and 1874 Salon Exhibitions. It was during the mid 1870s that Gilbert became a close friend to Pierre Martin, one of the chief supporters of the impressionist movement. As Martin had secured paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin, he also acquired oil paintings by Victor Gilbert.
It was through this support and recognition that Gilbert was able to break away from his profession as a decorator and devote all his time to painting. At this point, Gilbert turned to his very sought after street markets, vendors, cafe scenes and views of Les Halles.