This early oil sketch done out of doors in the bright moonlight was probably painted near Glasgow in the 1880s. Mann was one of the later Glasgow Boys’, a group of young artists much influenced by Whistler and Bastien Lepage. The four quarter moons decorating the distinctive original frame (which, according to the label on the back, was made by George Davidson of Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow) echo the full moon in the painting. It was exhibited in the Glasgow Fine Art Exhibition in 1882, no 484 (Dundee Courier, 14 November 1882, p 2).
Mann studied at the Slade School (under Alphonse Legros), and was awarded a Slade Travelling Studentship, allowing him to paint in Italy, Algiers, and Spain. He returned in 1889, exhibiting over 60 of his sketches from abroad in Glasgow, before moving to London, where he became a successful portrait painter and wrote a book on the subject.