After living in Paris from 1887-92, where Tucker and E.P. Fox studied at the École des Beaux Arts and the Académie Julian (Conder writing in a letter in 1890 that 'the American students here tell me that Tucker is the strongest man from Australia in Paris, and Fox is also thought a great deal of ...'), both artists returned to Australia, painting and teaching together at Charterisville through the 1890s (the period of the present portrait). Both artists introduced the soft tonal palette favoured in Europe, and they had a significant impact on the local scene, introducing one of the variety of external influences that went to form the Australian 'impressionism' born out of the artists' camps at Heidelberg, Charterisville, Box Hill and beyond.
The mid-1890s saw Tucker and Fox painting numerous female portraits. They painted family, such as Fox's Portrait of My Cousin (Lottie Philips), 1893-4, who wears the same fashionable leg o'mutton sleeves as we see in Tucker's portrait here, and Fox's 1896 VAS exhibit, the profile portrait of his sister-in-law Violet Fox, as well as their numerous female art students (Fox's large Art Students dating to 1895).