During his life, Eugene Vail maintained strong ties with Europe and the U.S. He painted images of peasants and fishermen in villages and towns throughout Europe. Vail’s realistic, anecdotal works were widely exhibited. He won awards in Berlin, Munich, Antwerp, Liege, and St. Louis. In 1894, he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. After many successful years of producing work in the academic “Salon” tradition, Vail’s style underwent a change, gradually becoming looser and more inpressionistic. He became known for his light-hearted scenes of people engaged in winter sports.