Mrs Claude Johnson in Black (1922). Ambrose McEvoy (English, 1878-1927). Oil on canvas. Ferens Art Gallery.

After the rapturous reception given to the painting Madame at the New English Art Club in 1914, McEvoy became one of the most original and sought after society portraitists of his age. He exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy and the British Institution.

The Letter (1904-1906). Ambrose McEvoy (British, 1878-1927). Oil on canvas. The New Art Gallery Walsall.

McEvoy’s early works are landscapes and restful interiors with figures, such as The Letter, in a style influenced by James McNeill Whistler. McEvoy had the reputation for a fine technical skill in oils, learnt from study with Whistler.

Two Ballet Dancers with Dresser (c.1913). Ambrose McEvoy (English, 1878-1927). Graphite, watercolour and chalk on paper. Tate.

McEvoy was encouraged by Whistler to enter the Slade School where he met Augustus John in 1893. Later he worked with Sickert in Dieppe. He began by painting landscapes and interiors with figures, in low tones. This work and two other watercolours of similar subjects were exhibited with the International Society, autumn 1914.