Henry Ryland had a successful and varied career as a painter, designer and watercolourist. He initially trained at the South Kensington School of Art before going to Paris and studying at the Académie Julian. He was influenced both by Neo-Classicism and the Pre-Raphaelites, and his work was characterised by a high degree of finish and comprised primarily of single figures within simple classical settings. He exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy between 1890 and 1903, and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. In the 1880s and 1890s, Ryland executed designs for other media, including stained glass, and also for advertisements, notably for Pears. However, he also established a reputation as one of the foremost neo-classical painters of the period working in watercolour.
The present watercolour, executed in 1908, can be regarded as amongst his most accomplished watercolours.