John Skeaping studied art at Goldsmiths’ College and the Central School of Art from 1917 to 1919. In 1924 he won the Prix de Rome and in the same year married Barbara Hepworth in Florence.
A sculptor and draughtsman, mainly of animal subjects, he held his first solo exhibition with Hepworth in 1928, at the Alex Reid & Lefevre gallery, Glasgow.
During the war, Skeaping’s London house was bombed, and he took refuge with his great friend, the architect Louis Osman. The Osmans later commissioned Skeaping to paint this picture along with 'Resting Deer' on the panelling of their Queen Anne house in Barton Street, Westminster.