From 1918-1922 Mahoney attended Beckenham School of Art under Percy H. Jowett. Little work has survived from this period. In 1922, on the strength of a Royal Exhibition in drawing, Mahoney enrolled at the Royal College of Art where he spent four productive years under the guidance of the College Principal and Professor of Painting, Sir William Rothestein. Contemporaries at the college with whom he formed life-long friendships included Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman, Percy Horton and Gerry Ososki. This picture is likely to dates to the period when Mahoney was studying at the Royal College of Art – it possibly relates to a design for an intended mural scheme of which this would have formed a side panel.