This painting was done around the same time as Pablo Picasso was working on his Blue Period. Absinthe is an alcoholic drink that is now banned in many countries because of its addictive and psychoactive qualities.
It was a drink that was made famous by the many artists in Paris who consumed and painted people consuming Absinthe. Other famous Parisian artists that painted Absinthe drinkers included Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet.
The 'Buveuse accoudée' painting was sold at a Christie's auction in 2005 for $6,288,000 with buyer's premium.