A native of Utica, New York, Henry Inman worked principally in New York City. Inman began his career as a portrait painter in 1814 when he assumed an apprenticeship with John Wesley Jarvis. This professional relationship lasted over seven years, with Inman establishing his own portrait studio in New York City by 1824. In addition to his work as a painter and teacher, Inman was an esssential force in the creation of the National Academy of Design, of which he was Vice President between 1826 and 1831. Working briefly in Philadelphia, Inman returned to New York City in 1834 where he successsfully continued painting until his death in 1846.