Marcus Stone, The Painter's First Work (1862)
Painting in the Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco
It is possible that the woman in the portrait is -- or was -- the boy's mother and the wife of the man in the red coast. The clothing and fabrics the boy has dragged out of the armoire were possibly the clothing of the deceased woman, whose presence the young artist has attempted to recreate.
Note that the portrait on the wall is one of a pair: we can see the frame of the companion work, obscured by an opened door, on the right. Is the obscured canvas a portrait of the lady's husband, the man in the red coat?
Chalk drawing of a sedan chair below the sketch:
The young artist is distressed by the scolding (note his crossed feet); but he still holds on to his drawing implement, and his face displaces a countenance at once fearful and defiant.
The father’s companion, in black clothes, is possibly the boy’s future art teacher (note the portfolio in the man’s left hand). He is clearly impressed with his future student’s ability, and seeks to draw the father’s attention to the boy’s talents.