In the summer of 1889 Sargent rented a large house in Fladbury, beside the River Avon. There he made a small oil sketch of his sister Violet standing on the river bank, holding a long fishing rod. She then posed for him for this large painting, probably out of doors, though not beside the river. The painting is unfinished, and Sargent has not yet added the fishing rod. The canvas was later rolled up, making the creases which you can see along the right hand side.