This study was made while McTaggart was a pupil at the Trustees’ Academy under the artist Robert Scott Lauder. Lauder was an innovative teacher who encouraged his students to paint from the live model, but forbade them from placing figures in imaginary settings, believing they must only paint exactly what they saw. This study demonstrates McTaggart’s skill in painting human flesh and forms. He modelled the figure with numerous delicate applications of thin paint, which contrast with the loose and sketchy treatment of the background studio and coloured draperies. McTaggart had a great ability to capture the psychological aspects of his sitters. Here the girl’s exposed, available body is contradicted by her detached, internalised gaze.