The English artist Sir William Nicholson was a successful portrait painter and the father of leading modern artist Ben Nicholson. From 1888-91 he trained at Herkomer's School in London, where he met Scottish student Mabel Pryde. He married Mabel in 1893 and the following year formed an artistic partnership with her brother James. As the ‘Beggarstaff Brothers’, William Nicholson and James Pryde collaborated on a series of striking poster designs inspired by French artist Toulouse Lautrec. This chalk or crayon drawing is one of a pair; the other one is a portrait of Pryde by Nicholson. Both drawings were published as illustrations for an article about the Beggarstaff Brothers’ studio, printed in the journal ‘Figaro’ on 25 February 1897.