The sitter was the son of Gilbert Gerard, 2nd Baron Gerard, of Gerard's Bromley, Staffordshire, and his wife Eleanor, daughter and heiress of Thomas Dutton of Dutton, Cheshire. He married Lady Mary Fane, second daughter of Francis, 1st Earl of Westmorland, as his first wife, by whom he had a son, Charles, who was to succeed him. He married, as his second wife, Lady Elizabeth O'Bryen, daughter and heir of Henry, Earl of Thomond, by whom he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married William Spencer, of Ashton, Lancashire.
George Geldorp was the son of a painter from Cologne. He came to England in 1623 having spent the previous thirteen years painting in Antwerp. He was involved in van Dyck's arrival in England and was also connected with van Dyck in picture dealing. After the Restoration he was appointed Keeper of the King's pictures. His works are close in style to those of his contemporaries Cornelius Johnson and Daniel Mytens and this portrait derives from a Mytens type.