The purpose of removing all other visual information from this artwork is so that the focal point is as clear as possible. Normally Godward, and his ilk, would place a great importance in supporting a figurative depiction with considerable amounts of other detail in order to complete the overall composition. But here he decides to really focus on facial detail which also helps us to learn more about his precise skills in this specific facet of portraiture.
The zoomed in nature of this painting allows us to confirm the artist's use of North European models, pale and often with auburn or light blonde hair. This would contrast with the settings of the South Mediterranean, including weather, architecture and fashion. This unlikely combination created a strong support within the UK for a number of years before falling away just as tastes often do.