Ward was born in Hereford and studied at the art school there before attending Royal Collegein London. Over the years his high reputation in portraiture has led to many prestigious commissions. He was elected Royal Academician in 1965. This painting shows Ward's two young sons, William (left) and George. It was painted at Bilting Court, the house he has lived in since the 1950s. He described the painting: 'I concocted some kind of lay figure for George, the shorter of the two boys, and I had a child lay figure for William's costume'.