The artist has painted himself sketching in his studio at 104 Priory Road, Hampstead, London. He wears two-tone wingtip shoes that were fashionable in the 1920s and ‘30s, and is surrounded by the props and costumes that he used in his paintings; the books, sculpture, pictures, textiles, and other objects scattered about represent his various interests. A nude model poses in the centre, and the artist’s wife is seated on the divan wearing a costume, whilst draped lay figures, male and female, stand to her left and right. Behind them is a plaster frieze of St George slaying the dragon with a massive overmantle supported by nude female and male caryatids. The very different representations of women in the painting are a fascinating combination, commanding the attention of the artist in different ways. Matania, who was Neapolitan, had made a successful career for himself as an illustrator and artist in his adopted country of Britain, and had covered the First World War for The Sphere magazine. Some of his paintings were set in ancient Rome, from which the Hollywood director Cecil B DeMille is said to have designs made for the costumes and set of his last film, The Ten Commandments.