Miller, born in New York City, graduated from City College of New York with his MFA before traveling to Spain in the 1930s. While abroad, Miller was influenced by the theory and art of Pablo Picasso. His portraits of everyday life, city scapes and landscapes of the Catskills were often executed in encaustic, where the paint is suspended in wax, instead of oil. The heavy outlines and brilliant colors achieved through the waxy encaustic endow this piece with a stained glass-like appearence. First used by the Eastern Orthodox church for icon painting, encaustic was embraced by the vanguard of American artists, first Arthur Dove and most famously Jasper Johns, who used its historical resonance as a commentary on the value and sanctity of every day life.