Perhaps one of Gregory's most successful portraits, Mabel Galloway demonstrates the artist's flair in capturing the aesthetic charm of an interior without detracting from the personality of the sitter. The picture received considerable attention when exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery; the Art Journal critic remarked on Gregory's 'great sympathy with the type of the sitter and with the beauty of various accessories; and Alfred Lys Baldry in the Studio described it as 'wonderful'. '
It was no doubt Gregory's close association with the Galloway family that inspired him when painting Mabel. He had already painted portraits of her parents, and her father was one of his most important patrons. When Charles Galloway, JP of Thorneyholme, Knutsford died at the age of seventy, his estate, which was sold in June 1905 at Christie's, contained no less than 106 works by Gregory, including his masterpiece Boulter's Lock, which had secured his election as RA in 1898 and is now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight. These works constituted about a third of the output of an artist who, when he was elected R.A., was jokingly taxed with 'a chaste tendency to idleness'. Galloway's admiration for the man who 'will not allow anything to leave the studio until he has carried it as far as he can' was so great that when in 1903 another collector forestalled him in procuring an exhibited picture, he exclaimed 'I wish I had made sure of it when I saw it half finished in the studio.'