While they were engaged, Renée sat for her portrait at her future in-laws’ house in Hendon. Only the sitter’s head and shoulders are depicted and she gazes directly at the viewer. NMK added the black bow at the neck to set off his fiancée’s strawberry red dress and matching lipstick. The dark background enhanced her vivid colouring, especially her deep brown eyes and well-defined brows. The silky scarf draped over her curly raven hair was originally a present bought for his mother Cissy while he was on holiday at Lake Como in 1949. Compare the final version with the earlier unfinished study Renée in a Red Dress (1949) which has an informal, even romantic quality.