Euphemia Leslie Carstairs (1829–1867) was born in Scotland, the daughter of Robert Carstairs and Christian Leslie. She lived at Balwearie, a farm near Kirkaldy, where she married her cousin George Russell (1812–1888) in April 1852.
After a wedding tour through Europe, the Russells sailed for Melbourne, arriving in September 1853. They settled at Golf Hill, and had seven daughters and a son. Euphemia died there in March 1867.
The Russells' choice of the society artist Wilhelm Lehmann to paint these pendant portraits is indicative of their affluence and familiarity with the fashionable world of London at that time.