Born in Carlisle, Sam Bough is not a Scot by birth, however, it was in Scotland and at the Royal Scottish Academy that he found fame, and where his work's topographical focus lies. At 15 he was apprenticed to an engraver in London, later working as a scene painter in Manchester and then Glasgow. This formative training may account for the ease with which he worked on large and small scale compositions. He was renowned for his proficiency in working at speed, and it was said he could finish a picture in a single day. He was greatly influenced by David Cox and Constable, and this confident loose technique can be seen in the handling of many of his larger pictures. His breakthrough work, Barncluith (Glasgow Art Galleries), came in the late 1840s, and by his death in 1878 he had exhibitied over 200 paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy.