Prince Paul Troubetzkoy was an Italian born painter and sculptor, the son of a member of the Russian nobility. He made many portrait busts of famous men, such as Tolstoy and Anatole France. Shaw (1856-1950), the famous playwright and Fabian socialist, was a devoted vegetarian like Troubetzkoy. They were friends and Shaw sat to Troubetzkoy three times. The first was for a portrait bust in 1908, executed in three hours in a studio in London. Then, in 1926, at Troubetzkoy's studio at Lago Maggiore in Italy, Shaw posed for a life-size statue, a statuette showing him seated, and this second portrait bust.