Augustus John met Dorelia McNeill in early in 1903. She moved in with the artist and his wife Ida and immediately became his muse. He drew here obsessively between 1903 and 1914.
The present work hails from the drawing series 'Dorelia wearing a Hat', executed between 1904-06. Dorelia appears in this set of dark red chalk drawings in a broad-brimmed hat, usually wearing a bead necklace and with a shirt tied at the neck with a bow. Other drawings from this rapidly executed series are in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Cartwright Hall, Bradford Art Galleries and Museums.