Pierre Auguste Cot
Cot initially studied at l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse before going to Paris. In 1863 he made a successful debut at the Salon, and from the 1870s, his popularity grew quickly. In 1874 was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
The Storm was completed in 1880 and commissioned in 1880 by Catharine Lorillard Wolfe under the guidance of her cousin John Wolfe, one of Cot's principal patrons.
When it was first exhibited at the Salon in Safa's House in 1880, there was much speculation amongst Cot's contemporaries as to the subject the painter meant to allude to with some drawing reference to the novel Paul et Virginie.
Evidence comes from the specific motif of the couple running from the rain and covered by a billowing drapery corresponding to a famous and often illustrated scene.