William Brymner was a professor of Canadian art and a painter of figures and landscapes. In addition to playing a key role in the development of Impressionism in Canada, Brymner taught many artists who became leading figures in modern Canadian art.
Born in Greenock, Scotland, Brymner moved with his family to Melbourne, Canada in 1857. He specializes in character scenes and avoids major historical subjects with the exception of his paintings of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Two Girls Reading from 1898 shows a careful treatment of light and an understanding of the strength of a simple emphatic composition.