Philip Steegman was a society portrait painter and associate of the charmed circle of aesthetes and artists which included Osbert, Sacheverell and Edith Sitwell. He studied at the Slade and in Rome, and was the younger brother of John Steegman, the art historian and museum director. His sitters included Somerset Maugham (National Portrait Gallery, London) and Osbert Sitwell's partner David Horner (Royal Pavilion and Art Gallery, Brighton), depicted as an impeccable twenties dandy. It has been suggested that the present portrait may be a member of Osbert Sitwells retinue. Horner and Sitwell travelled extensively in China and their adventures were captured in Osberts 1939 book Escape with Me!