Daniel Burr (1749-1828) joined the Honourable East India Company in 1767 as a cadet in Madras. As a captain, he held commands in Genjam, Vellore and Guntoor Circar. Burr's military career was very successful: he was appointed Major General in 1805 and advanced to the rank of Lieutenant General in 1815. In the present portrait, Burr is shown wearing his updated Lieutenant General's uniform.
Sir Martin Archer Shee entered the Royal Academy in 1790, and his earliest works were strongly influenced by the portraiture styles of Sir Joshua Reynolds and James Barry. Shee succeeded Sir Thomas Lawrence as President of the Academy in 1830, by which time he had adopted the brushy, loosely painted landscape backgrounds that Lawrence had popularized.