Halliday studied at Liverpool School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He submitted this painting for the British School at Rome Scholarship in Decorative Painting in 1925 and was awarded the scholarship, which was for three years study in Rome. The painting was accompanied by a large drawing, or cartoon, which showed the whole of the composition, with figures, trees and the celestial city set above the naked figures of Christian and Hopeful. The subject is taken from John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress. After his time in Rome Halliday returned to Britain and painted three mural panels on the subject of the Greek goddess Athena for the Athenaeum Club Library in Liverpool.