After returning from his prolonged study trip to Italy, David Allan specialised in painting conversation pieces for Scottish aristocratic families. These were informal group portraits, often in an outdoor setting, and showed the sitters occupied in leisure activities. In this scene, Sir William's sons, William, James and John, present the trophies of a hunt ? a fox's mask and tail ? to their mother, Lady Frances, and their sisters, Frances, Henrietta, Elizabeth and Magdalene.