Working as a mural painter, illuminator, embroiderer and enameller, Phoebe Traquair was one of the most distinguished artists of her generation. She painted murals for St Mary’s Cathedral Song School and the Catholic Apostolic Church in Edinburgh (now the Mansfield Traquair Centre). James Pittendrigh Macgillivray made the plaster version of this bust in the late 1890s. At his own suggestion, he later had it carved in marble by the sculptor Peter Induni. The bust depicts her in working smock and cap, as the artist craftswoman.