John Drummond (1791-1864) was the elder son of John Drummond (1766-1833), the second son of John Drummond, of Stanmore, M.P. (1723-1774). The latter's father Andrew, was the founder of the famously successful family bank.
The present portrait was painted in 1831, and is recorded in the artist's account book in March of that year, no.328, as 'Portraits of Himself, Groom and Two Horses' for 35 guineas, along with a 'Portrait of a Spaniel' for 7 guineas and 'A Scurry with Portraits' for 35 guineas. Ferneley also recorded two portraits in his account book of 1831, no.326, that were commissioned by a relative of John Drummond, one 'A. Drummond Esq.', who can be identified as either Andrew Berkeley Drummond (1755-1833) of Cadland Park, Southampton, a partner in the bank, or his son, Andrew Robert Drummond (1794-1865).
It is likely that John Drummond was introduced to Ferneley by the Cadland branch of his family, who had been commissioning works from the artist as far back as 1818 and 1821 when Andrew Robert married Lady Elizabeth Manners, daughter of the 5th Duke of Rutland. It was the Duke of Rutland who, recognising Ferneley's talent, had arranged for him to be apprenticed to one of the leading sporting artists of the time, Benjamin Marshall (1768-1835), in 1801.
In 1814 the young artist established himself at Melton Mowbray, and quickly built up a thriving practice painting for those who lived in the Shires or hunted with the Quorn or the Belvoir. The present portrait offers a glimpe of the glamour of those involved in the fox-hunting world at its zenith, and is a beautiful example of Ferneley's work in the 1830s, a period when he was patronised by many of the most important members of Regency society, including the Earl of Lichfield, Lord Avenley and Beau Brummel.