Isaac Sheffield was an itinerant painter who was born in Guilford, Connecticut. He traveled throughout Connecticut in the 1830s and 1840s, settling in New London in 1838. He is known for his portraits of sea captains and his expressive renderings of facial features and eyes.
According to the inscriptions on the verso of the portrait of Catherine Fullington, she was a great-great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Dudley and a daughter of Rebecca Dudley Davis. Joseph Dudley (1647-1720) was a colonial governor of Massachusetts from 1702 to 1715. Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, he was the son of the second governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Dudley.