George Reid enjoyed a long career in Toronto as painter, muralist and teacher He was born in Wingham, Ontario in 1860. He studied at the Central Ontario School of Art, Toronto, and in Philadelphia with the celebrated painter Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Subsequent studies brought him to Paris to the Académies Julian and Colarossi. There he learned an academic approach in which sketches are fundamental to working out problems of composition and colour. Even when abroad, Reid depicted Canadian subjects. It was his custom to set up a studio tableau peopled with models and to paint this ‘set’ as the subject of his painting. Andante was probably painted in his Toronto studio. The figures are dressed in historic dress reflecting a nostalgic perception of Canada. Andante is a sketch for a larger painting, Adagio, in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Reid achieved recognition around the time he painted this picture, winning a bronze medal at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.