Ratcliffe studied wallpaper design in Manchester under Walter Crane. The family moved house, in 1906, from Manchester to Letchworth, the new Garden City with many Arts & Crafts influences, and where we know that many houses were furnished with Clissett’s chairs. A couple of years later, the artist Harold Gilman also moved to Letchworth and became a neighbour of the Ratcliffe family. Under Gilman’s influence, Ratcliffe gave up wallpaper design and took up painting. He was introduced to the Campden Town Group by Gilman, and showed paintings in all three of the group’s exhibitions.
This particular painting is thought to depict the home of Stanley and Signe Parker at 102 Wilbury Road, Letchworth. Several photographs of the interior of this house exist, and they show several Clissett ladderbacks. It certainly seems likely that this is the suggested location, especially as Ratcliffe knew the Parkers, and is known to have visited them.
It’s worth noting that Gilman also painted a room containing a Clissett ladderback. In that instance, the chair almost certainly belonged to Gilman himself.