In the mid and late 1930s William Gear travelled around Europe on a scholarship, visiting Italy, Greece, the Balkans and France. In Paris he studied at the Acadamie Colarossi under Fernand Leger and many of his works from this period have the powerful, voluminous forms to be found in Leger's figure paintings as well as the Neo-Classical sculptures of Maillol.
Works by Gear from this period were exhibited in one of the first Surrealist Exhibitions to be held in Britain under the banner of the 'New Era Group'. This exhibition at the Gladstone's Land Galleries, Royal Mile, Edinburgh took place in 1939. As well as Gear it included Hugh Crawford, Joseph Forrester, Tom Pow and Rendall Wells. The present work comes from the Estate of Rendall Wells.