The work of James Ross is relatively rare and in the past his paintings have often been confused with those of other artists, most particularly with John Wootton by whom he was influenced. According to Sally Mitchell, 'it seems likely that he was one of a family of artists by the name of Ross, who lived in the Gloucestershire/Worcesterhisre area. Many of James Ross' recorded pictures are of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire families and hunts' (Dictionary of Equestrian Artists, 1985, p. 366). Shaw Sparrow describes him as a painter of 'real value of Wootton's time and his work is touched with Wootton's influence.' Works recorded by him include A Meet of Foxhounds (1732) in the Paul Mellon Collection, Yale Center for British Art. His horses often show a strong Flemish influence as can be seen in the present work.
Although the house in the background of the picture has, in the past, been identified as Chatsworth, study of the architectural and topographical detail makes this seem unlikely, even allowing for artistic license. Ross did paint known views (see for example his four pictures of The Duke of Beaufort's Hunt, each signed and variously dated 1729-33, set in the Severn Valley, Christie's, London, 15 November 1996, lot 47, sold £165,000), or it is possible that the landscape in the present picture is idealized.