Ambrose McEvoy studied at the Slade and was a member of the New English Art Club. He moved in important radical artistic circles with Gwen John, Augustus John, Walter Sicket and William Orpen, amongst others. He was taught by James McNeill Whistler, a friend of his father's. The model for this drawing was his son's governess, Anais Folin, who was from the Basque country. She modelled for many of McEvoy's works between 1911 and 1912, both drawings and finished paintings. This drawing is similar to a watercolour in the Tate collection which also shows Folin leaning on her hand, 'In a Mirror' (Tate N03175).