Henry Raeburn was born at Stockbridge, Edinburgh. After he left school he was apprenticed, at the age of sixteen, to an Edinburgh jeweller, during which time he began to paint portrait miniatures. Raeburn began to make his name as a painter of full-sized portraits in oil following his return to Edinburgh from Rome in the mid-1780s. He developed a distinctive, individual method of lighting his subjects. Success led to the establishment of his studio at York Place. Living and working in Edinburgh for the rest of his life, Raeburn painted the portraits of many distinguished gentlemen and their family members. Honoured in his final years, Raeburn was knighted in 1822 and was appointed the king's painter and limner in Scotland in 1823.