Marie-Louise-Hélène Fantin-Latour was the daughter of the painter Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour and Hélène de Naidenhoff, the adopted daughter of Countess Zoloff. She had two siblings, Ignace-Henri-Théodore, who became a painter and close friend of JW and Nathalie-Marie-Thérèse. She married a colonel in the Russian army in July 1866 in Warsaw, becoming Marie Fantin-Janovski.
Marie often posed to her brother Henri before her marriage. For example, she appears in his oils The Two Sisters (1859; Saint Louis City Art Museum), Reading (1861; Musée d'Orsay, Paris) and Reading (1863; Musée des beaux-arts, Tournai). On 17 October 1859 her sister Nathalie was committed to Charenton asylum, suffering from schizophrenia, where she remained until her death. Marie was deeply affected by her sister's illness and was herself unwell. She was also troubled by financial concerns before her marriage, her fiance being only a poor officer (he was later promoted to colonel).
Druick, Douglas and Michel Hoog, Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1982.