Helen Allingham was one of the best known Victorian painters in watercolours and one of the most successful female British artists ever. After studying art in Birmingham and London, she started as an illustrator for The Graphic before turning to watercolours. Her chosen subject matter of idealised rural views was incredibly popular with the public, and her watercolours of country gardens and cottages were always captured with delicate precision. In 1874 she married the Irish poet William Allingham, with whom she had three children. The family moved to Surrey in 1881, where she painted most of her works. After the death of her husband in 1889 she continued to support her family by painting constantly, even when her work went out of fashion in the early twentieth century.