Little is known about the life of Scottish artist Richard Waitt. He is known to have married Margaret Freebairn in Edinburgh in April 1707, and in the following year was commissioned by the Earl of Hopetoun to paint the Earl's coat-of-arms at Abercorn Church. Waitt is thought to have studied under the prominent Scottish portrait painter John Scougall. He may have remained in Edinburgh until about 1716 working principally as a portrait painter. He painted a series of major portraits of relations and servants for Sir James Grant of Grant and worked for members of other branches of the Grant family.
In 1730 Waitt was paid £30 for painting the arms of Great Britain in the Court House at Elgin. A still life by Waitt with cauliflowers, a ham and dead game birds, signed and dated 1724 is at Edinburgh. In the present lot the combination of Waitt's robust style of portraiture and characterisation are combined with his gift for still life.
The frame pattern largely corresponds to that adopted by the 2nd Earl of Sunderland for the collection of portraits at Althorp, Northamptonshire (P. Mitchell, Frameworks, London, 1996 pl. 43).