Between 1936 and 1939, Coldstream made a series of portraits of his friends. This image of the first wife of the poet Stephen Spender has been called 'a masterpiece of analytical realism' and necessitated about forty sittings. Spender commissioned this image during the couple's impetuous and short-lived marriage. Her clothes and her unusually short hair mark her out as part of an intellectual circle. In 1939 Inez left Spender for the poet Charles Madge.