Francis McComas was an Australian-born artist who spent most of his adult life in California, receiving some national recognition. He was one of the few California artists invited to exhibit in the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York. In 1915 he served on the hanging committee and jury of awards at San Francisco's Panama–Pacific International Exposition. The following year witnessed important changes in his career. He began to deemphasize watercolors in favor of mural commissions in oil for the homes of wealthy Californians. In 1923 he was hired by Cecil B. DeMille to design the sets for the Biblical epic, The Ten Commandments. Criticism of his Cubist-inspired submissions to a San Francisco exhibition may have led to his departure from the Bay Area art scene. In the early-to-mid 1930s he reemerged as a serious artist with several exhibitions of new works, some of which were inspired by recent trips to Mexico and his meetings with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.