The present portrait was commissioned by Alice Mason, of Boston, Massachusetts, the maternal grandmother of the sitter. Alice Mason married William Sturgis Hooper, who died whilst fighting in the Wilderness Campaign, 1864, leaving Alice and her infant daughter Isabella. Alice then married Senator Charles Sumner, a member of Abraham Lincoln's cabinet and twenty-seven years her senior. However the couple soon divorced and Alice subsequently travelled to Europe and became a prominent figure in expatriate circles, where she was befriended by Henry James. Whilst in Paris she met Sargent, who painted a full-length portrait of her (R. Ormond and E. Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent, The Early Portraits, New Haven, 1998, no. 140). Eva Balfour married Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, 5th Bt. (1889-1945) in November 1931.