In 1874, the year before this landscape was painted, Archie Stuart Wortley studied under Sir John Everett Millais. According to J. G. Millais, the artist's biographer, 'his interests seemed to be centred in guns and sketchbooks,' although he soon became an able pupil. In 1874 he submitted a view entitled In Wharncliffe Chase - Winter to the Royal Academy, while this landscape was exhibited a year later. Thereafter he devoted himself to sporting subjects and portraits, his most celebrated picture being the likeness of W.G. Grace, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1890, no. 1003, and presented to the Marylebone Cricket Club by its members.
The artist has an additional interest, in that probably he introduced Millais's daughter Carrie to her future husband, his brother Charles Beilby, later Lord Stuart of Wortley. As a child, Carrie was the model for Sleeping, which will be offered in the sale of Important British Art at Christie's London on 10 June.
Archie Stuart Wortley came from a distinguished family. His father was Solicitor General, while his sister Mary, Countess of Lovelace, was much involved in the Arts and Crafts movement. His sister-in-law Carrie was an intimate friend of Elgar, who called her 'Windflower' after the themes of his Violin Concerto. He himself married into the family of the Dukes of Newcastle, which accounts for this painting's provenance.