Calvert married Mary Bennell in 1824 and this portrait probably dates from just after this date. Mary, who painted a few pictures was an active participant in her husband's art life. She seems to have occasionally met William Blake and knew his poetry. She thus had direct knowledge of how this 'spiritual man' inspired Edward's art and that of his fellow 'Ancients'. She discussed art with her husband and almost certainly contributed to his thinking on a subject which preoccupied him later life - the relationship between colour and music.