The present sheet is a drapery study for De Morgan's painting In Memoriam (The De Morgan Foundation, fig. 1), painted as a reflection on grief, loss and remembrance. Although painted somewhat earlier, the painting was included in De Morgan's exhibition of 1916, held at her studio in Edith Road, for the benefit of the British and Italian Red Cross. It reflects De Morgan's desire to depict not the heroic aspects of war, but the very deep personal emotions of those suffering. Another study exploring the pose of the figure was sold Christie's South Kensington, 15 March 2012, lot 167.
The facility with which De Morgan has captured the complex drapery in the present sheet clearly demonstrates not only her training at the Slade School of Art, where she was amongst the first female students to be admitted, but also her enduring fascination with Italian Renaissance art.