Pryde was born in Edinburgh and is probably best remembered today as one of the two 'Beggarstaff Brothers'. In the mid-1890s he and his brother-in-law William Nicholson (1872-1949) produced strikingly original designs for commercial and theatrical posters. Although these works were not a financial success, they had a profound influence on graphic art for several decades. In the early 1900s Pryde began to paint architectural fantasies, interiors and landscapes infused with a strange romantic melancholy. This portrait is part of a pair that Nicholson made as illustrations for a journal called `Figaro?, which reproduced the drawings alongside an article on the Beggerstaff Brothers.