Anna Maria Simpson (1807-1838), was the granddaughter of Joseph Wright of Derby, and the wife of Frederick Simpson. Her parents were the miniaturist Graham Chappel (1770-1834), and Maria Wright (1783-1819), Joseph Wright's fifth child and third daughter. The inscription on the reverse of this painting, under the artist's married name, indicates that the portrait was presumably painted between the artist's marriage to Frederick Simpson in 1821 and her death in 1838.
This portrait is a version of Wright's Self Portrait, in a broad rimmed hat (see B.Nicolson, Joseph Wright of Derby: Painter of Light, London and New York, 1968, vol. I, pp. 22 and 230, fig. 8), formerly in the Cade collection, now untraced. Two other works by Anna Maria, after pictures by her father, were exhibited in Derby in 1866.