Elizabeth Salter, the previous owner of the present work, wrote two books on Edith Sitwell, 'The Last Years of a Rebel' (London, 1979) and 'Edith Sitwell' (London, 1979).
The connection between Nevinson and the Sitwell family are twofold; (Dame) Edith Sitwell sat for a portrait, while (Sir) Osbert, himself a serving soldier encountered Nevinson during the First World War. Osbert Sitwell who wrote about a book on Nevinson in 1925 felt Nevinson was the only artist capable of translating 'modern warfare into new terms of veracity and art'.
John Lehmann comments upon Edith Sitwell; 'Her personal appearance was as striking as her personality. She was tall and the pale oval face with the strong nose and thin lips, the flowing, often bizarre, robes she affected, that never owed anything to the vagaries of fashion, the huge aquamarine rings she wore on her long delicate fingers, all contributed to a formidable, even overwhelming impression when she appeared in public. Her capacity for icy, lightning-swift repartee to bores, who were fatally attracted to her, concealed a great sense of fun and also a deep sense of compassion that could immediately be aroused by a genuine tale of misfortune.
The National Portrait Gallery has two drawings of her by Wyndham Lewis whose portrait of her is in the Tate Gallery which also has a portrait by Alvaro Guevara. The Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, has a portrait by Roger Fry. She sat for her friend Pavel Tchelitchew for six portraits, one of which was lent by the owner, Edwrad James, to the Tate Gallery'. (see J. Lehmann in E.T. Williams and C.S. Nicholls (ed.), op. cit., p.951).