Sir David Murray started working in a local mercantile firm, studying in the evenings at Glasgow School of Art. Here he studied under Robert Greenlees who influenced his early landscape style with his insistence upon careful observation and detail. Eleven years later he turned to painting as a career. He exhibited from the early 1870s at the RSA and the RGI and then moved to London in 1883, travelling frequently across the Channel to paint northern French landscapes with characteristic fresh colours and delicate handling. From 1875 he exhibited at the RA, becoming rapidly very popular and was knighted in 1918. Caw described Murray as 'gifted with a fine sense of colour, frank and unprejudiced vision, and genuine, if not deep, appreciation of the more brilliant aspects of Nature, these, with much dexterity of handling, are the qualities which distinguish Murray's work at its best.' (James L. Caw, Scottish Painting, 1975, p. 304).