Kinley was born in Vienna. He came to England in 1938, serving in the Army between 1944 and 1948 before studying art in Düsseldorf and London. 'Walking Figure' is one of a number of figure subjects painted early in 1957. When asked about his thoughts on abstract painting, which was becoming fashionable at that time, Kinley replied: 'I do aim to find recognisable images in my painting; this does not imply a return to 'Realism' or 'Naturalism' in the 19th century sense, but of translating experience (largely but not exclusively of a visual kind) into paint... I begin with a clear idea of what I intend to paint, but in trying to realize this idea in paint it may be necessary to change the image quite a lot.'