Commissioned by Charles, 6th Marquess of Anglesey in 1936, much of the composition of this picture is purely imaginary, although there are some recognisable architectural features and personal references to the family. The young man sweeping up leaves at the end of the arcade is a self-portrait of the artist. This is the last of Rex Whistler’s extensive murals. It is painted on a giant single canvas, woven in France, of 58 feet in length. The artist, a prominent stage designer, painted it in a theatre workshop in London, before it was taken to Plas Newydd on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales, in 1937 and completed there.
Rex Whistler always intended to return to Plas Newydd after the Second World War to complete some of the unfinished details of the mural. Tragically, he was killed on his first day of active duty in France on the 18 July 1944.