Nathaniel Hone was the best known Irish portrait painter of his generation. Born in Dublin, he trained under Robert West. Like many of his fellow countrymen, as a young man he moved to England, where the market offered greater possibilities. Hone initially specialised in painting portrait miniatures but gave this up in the 1760s to concentrate on life-scale portraiture. He built up a fashionable portrait practice, and was one of two Irish founding members of the Royal Academy, the other being George Barret.