At the age of nineteen, American painter Francis Coates Jones was visiting the studio of Edwin Abbey. At this meeting he expressed, for the first time, his interest in pursuing painting as his career. By 1877 he was in Paris, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Henri Lehmann. He would spend the next five years on painting and sketching excursions through Switzerland, Italy and France.
In 1879 Jones received a commission to paint a panorama of military subjects, which he completed a year later. He returned to Paris, and began to study under academic painters Jules Lefebvre and William Adolphe Bouguereau. From this point forward Jones' work would reflect the highly finished and detailed style of his two latest teachers. His future paintings would often feature rich interiors and detailed costumes, though he usually worked as a genre painter, capturing realistic scenes of everyday life.
He returned to the United States where he would divide his time between painting in the South Egremont area of Massachusetts, his illustration work for Scribner's magazine, and his teaching duties at the National Academy of Design in New York. By 1895 he also added "muralist" to his list of accomplishments.
Jones was an active member of many associations and clubs, including the National Academy of Design, the American Federation of Artists, the American Watercolor Society, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, among others.
His works are in several major museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.