The Irish-American painter, Anne Estelle Rice (1875-1959) was born in Pennsylvania. Despite parental disapproval she completed an art college degree in 1897 and went on to work as an illustrator. In 1905 Rice was posted to Paris by Rodman Wannamaker, the owner of a large department store, to illustrate the latest fashions for his trade magazine. She was joined by her friend Elizabeth Dryden who was employed to write the accompaning reviews.
Fergusson first met Rice at Paris-Plage in 1907 and was immediately drawn to her vivacious personality. The encounter probably influenced his decision to leave Edinburgh and settle in Paris, where the two artists were closely involved over the next six years. Fergusson made numerous sketches and paintings of Rice during this period.