The sitter was the son and heir of Chidley Coote (d.1799), of Ash Hill, co. Limerick, and his second wife, Elizabeth Anne, daughter of the Rev. Ralph Carr, of Alderly, co. Chester. He succeeded his father in 1799 and the Baronetcy on 1 March 1802, on the death of his cousin, the Earl of Mountrath. Sir Charles Henry Coote was a Member of Parliament for Queen's County (1821-1847 and 1852-1859), and a Colonel of the Queen's County Militia. He married in 1814 Caroline (d.1837), daughter of John Whaley, of Whaley Abbey, co. Wicklow. Between 1821 and 1826, Coote built Ballyfin, Mountrath, co. Leix, according to the designs of the architects Dominick Madden and Sir Richard Morrison. Ballyfin is considered 'The grandest and most lavishly Classical house in Ireland' (M. Bence-Jones, Burke's Guide to Country Houses: Ireland, I, London, 1978, p.21).
John Hoppner studied at the Royal Academy Schools and, having exhibited numerous portraits at the Academy, was elected a Royal Academician in 1795. He was employed at the Court of George III and painted many of the leading figures of the day, including Nelson (1801; London, Royal Academy) and William Pitt (1806; London, National Portrait Gallery).