George Henry was born in Ayrshire in 1858. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and later at the informal classes held in the studio of William York MacGregor in Bath Street. He joined Guthrie, Walton and Crawhall to paint at Brig o' Turk in the Trossachs in 1881 and in 1884 he was again with Guthrie and Walton at Cockburnspath. The following year he met Edward Atkinson Hornel with whom he formed a life-long friendship and close working relationship, painting together in Kirkcudbright and in 1893 travelling to Japan. The two artists developed a distinctive approach, quite different from that of their Glasgow contemporaries, using rich colours and concentrating on decorative effect. After 1900 Henry settled in London where he painted portraits and figures in landscapes until his death in 1943.