Finney initially studied painting with Amy Katherine Browning and etching with Eric Gill, winning in 1927 a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under William Rothenstein. Horton, Houthuesen, Ososki and Freedman were amongst his friends at the college. In 1929 after graduation he took up a travelling scholarship to Rome.
Nicholas Finney, the artist’s son, recalls that Finney’s first wife, Nita, was a cultural and refined individual who admired my father’s work but probably despaired of his inability to look after a family and young child. Nevertheless there are a number of moving portraits of Nita and of her early motherhood with their son Brian, born in 1935. This is a study for the painting acquired by Tullie House Art Gallery on the advice of William Rothenstein who had mentored Finney at the R.C.A
We are grateful to Nicholas Finney for assistance.