Glasgow-born society artist Sir Herbert James Gunn studied briefly at the Glasgow and Edinburgh Schools of Art and in Paris. He left Paris at the outbreak of the First World War and initially joined the Artists Rifles. He subsequently received a commission in the 10th Scottish Rifles and saw active service in France. Although he became very successful as a painter of the great and the good, including the queen, among his loveliest paintings are these of his second wife Pauline, whom he repeatedly depicted as a woman of great glamour and grace.