George Romney was born in Beckside in Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire (now part of Cumbria) and after attending school at Dendron at age eleven was apprenticed to his father as a cabinet-maker. In 1755, he went to Kendal to learn painting from the Cumberland artist, Christopher Steele.
By 1757, Romney was becoming well-known as a portraitist. In 1762, married and with two children, he went to London, where the painting, 'The Death of General Wolfe' won a prize from the Royal Society of Arts. Romney soon had a thriving portrait business in Long Acre. Much of his work features local aristocrats, ranging from wealthy gentlemen and military officers to ladies, children, and entire families.