The present watercolour can be considered one of Henshall's masterpieces. A genre and history painter, he studied at South Kensington and at the Royal Academy Schools where he exhibited from 1879. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1883, the year before this picture was exhibited there, a time when the artist was at the height of his powers, and was made a full member in 1897. He exhibited similar titles at the Royal Academy including Gossip, 1884, Dreaming, 1886, Study, 1888 and Tit-bits, 1893, from various addresses in North London around St John's Wood and Hampstead.
The present watercolour was painted at the height of the Aesthetic movement; the influence of which can clearly be seen in the picture. There is a minimum of narrative content. The conception is also highly Aesthetic; the dress of the girl being balanced by the colours and decoration used in the interior, which is painted with meticulous detail, down to the feather quill lying on the floor. The theme of a girl lost in her own thoughts is a popular one amongst painters at this date, most famously J.J.J. Tissot, providing a vehicle to depict an elegant young woman soley in an interior with no moral or sentimental message.
The present watercolour in its scale and detail is a virtuoso performance and an example of the Aesthetic influence upon watercolour painting at this date.