George Chinnery met success early as a portraitist, exhibiting his first work in 1791, and winning acclaim in both London and then Dublin, where he moved in 1795. During his time in Dublin, he became R.H.A. The rest of his life seems to have been motivated partly by a desire to avoid his wife, whom he had married in Ireland, and with whom he had a young family. Deserting them in 1802, he sailed to India, and for twenty years painted scenes of Indian life, and portraits of the British expatriate community. In 1825, he discovered that his family had tracked him down, and fled ahead of them to Macao. He continued on to Canton, but heard in 1830 that his wife had died; he then returned to Macao and continued his career as a painter there, showing his all-embracing fascination with Oriental life. He died a prosperous man, in 1852.