This painting shows Scottish artist Edward Arthur Walton and his fiancée Helen Law dressed up for the Grand Costume Ball, organised by the Glasgow Art Club on 29 November 1889. Walton is dressed as the Japanese printmaker Hokusai, while his fiancée’s costume represents the painter Whistler’s signature in the shape of a butterfly. A photograph taken on the night by James Craig Annan shows a tableau vivant made up of several guests of the ball. It includes Walton as well as the artist of this work, Sir John Lavery, who is dressed as the Dutch painter Rembrandt. Lavery sketched this portrait of Walton and Helen Law on the night and presented it to them as a gift for their engagement, which they had announced earlier that evening.