Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) commissioned this portrait of his third wife, Mary Endicott, shortly after their marriage in 1888. The picture hung at Highbury, the Chamberlain's Birmingham home, where Mary Chamberlain acted as hostess at numerous family, social and political gatherings. The portrait was executed during 1890-91 and hung in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1891 where it excited much favourable comment. Joseph Chamberlain thought it an excellent likeness of his wife and it is recorded that the artist derived great pleasure from the commission. The minutiae of the execution of the picture are exceptually well documented through the survival of Mary Chamberlain's weekly letters to her mother, Mrs. Endicott, which are in collection of the University of Birmingham library.