Boggs was one of America's leading marine painters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born in Springfield, Ohio, and early in his career he worked as wood engraver for Harper's Weekly and as a painter of stage scenery. In 1876, Boggs went to Paris in hope of improving his craft as a scenic artist. He entered the atelier of Jean Leon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts, and the experience led him to devote his full attention to fine art. Boggs, who married a French woman and settled in Paris, quickly established his reputation in Europe and America as a marine painter. During his lifetime he became well-known for his marines and harbor views of France, Holland and New York, and for his renderings of street scenes and the architecture of Europes older cities. In 1883 one of his paintings was purchased by the French State for the National Museums and in 1885 his painting A Royal Day-Harbor of Honfleur (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) received a purchase prize at the first Prize Exhibition of the American Art Galleries in New York. Boggs died in 1926 in the Parisian suburb of Meudon.
"Paris la Seine, les quais Notre Dame" dates from around 1900, and reflects Boggs' preference for rendering compositional elements as simple silhouetted forms, fascination with the reflective properties of water and moist atmosphere, and his employment of a restrained impressionist technique and somber tonal palette. The artist painted most if not all of his work outdoors in nature. He often represented the church of Notre Dame in the background of his pictures, usually from the vantage point of the quai de Bercy or down the Seine from Pont Royal.