The title, ‘Mizpah’, comes from the name of an Eyemouth fishing boat, in turn taken from Genesis (chapter 31, verse 49): “Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent from another”. Bellany painted the work shortly before his marriage to his second wife, Juliet. This new relationship gave rise to a group of light and airy paintings that reflected the artist’s own joy and optimism at the time. The figure wearing the puffin-mask playing the accordion (inscribed with ‘lune de miel’, or ‘honeymoon’) is likely to be Bellany himself. The female figure of the seagull represents Juliet.