This picture shows the drawing room of the Rectory at Snargate, in Romney Marsh, where Gilman's father was the vicar. The girl is the artist's youngest sister, Irene.
The fashion for depicting domestic interiors seems to have been especially strong among pupils of the Slade School, which Gilman attended from 1897 to 1901. His work developed quickly away from the early style shown here to one which emphasised colour and texture. This can be seen in a later work, Lady on a Sofa, painted around 1910, shown to the left/right.