"Born in London in 1747, Francis Wheatley was a painter of portraits, landscapes and genre scenes as well as a respected engraver.
The son of a master tailor, Wheatley studied at Slipley's drawing school before attending the Royal Academy schools. His first paintings were completed for Lord Melbourne and he also worked on the decorations at Vauxhall. As he was establishing his reputation as a portrait painter in London, an amorous adventure with a fellow artist's wife forced him to flee London, with creditors also hot on his heels.
After his eventual return to London, he gave up small group paintings in favour of genre subjects, with overtones of the picturesque and the deserving poor. His style has been described as, ""skilful blending of moral feeling and popular sentiment"".
Wheatley died in 1801."