Paul Raud studied from 1888 to 1894 at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art, which was by then already losing its importance due to its excessive conservativeness. That school, however, suited Paul Raud, unlike many other students, and he remained there until he completed a full course of study. After Düsseldorf, Raud spent another six months in Holland but then returned to his homeland to look after his ill mother. Thus Raud became the first professional Estonian artist who settled down to live in his homeland, yet his efforts to find nationalist art and organise artistic life were relatively tepid. He actively continued his creative work, focusing primarily on portraits. Some less constrained traits gradually emerged in his treatments but by and large, Paul Raud remained true to the precise drawing skill, scant colouring and realism required at the academy.