Downman painted a number of theatrical portraits, for example, The Merry Wives of Windsor Act III (present location unknown) and was consequently well qualified to paint members of the nobility who indulged in the fashion for amateur theatrical productions at this time. The Return of Orestes, 1782 (Hinton Ampner, National Trust) clearly shows Charles James Fox on the left of the picture, and the present watercolour with its theatrical air and dramatic poses may be another work in this style. (See J. Munro, John Downman 1750-1824 Landscape, figure studies and portraits of 'Distinguished persons', exh. The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, cat. pp. 15-16).