John Stanhope painted this scene in his studio, below Rossetti’s, beside the polluted River Thames. In the shabby lodging, the woman thinks of her ‘past’. Her undressed hair, loose coat and the money on the table, suggest that in the ‘present’ she must entertain men to support herself or others. A man’s glove and walking stick place the viewer in the position of one of these visitors. The model is Fanny Cornforth, a close member of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. She made her living as a sex worker, domestic servant and professional model.