Samuel Richard Block (1792-1874) of Greenhill Grove, Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire, the son of Samuel Block (1766-1827), a wool merchant in the City of London, was born in 1792 at Kentish town. He was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1863. He married Agnes, daughter of Adam Wilson of Forth Street, Edinburgh, in Edinburgh in 1822, by whom he had four sons: Samuel Wilson Block (b.1822), William Allen Block (b.1824), James Hugh Block (b.1827), and Adam Henry Block (b.1829), as well as a daughter Agnes. He married secondly, following the death of his first wife in 1833, Margaret Orr (d.1901), daughter of William Orr of Bridgeton, Kincardineshire with whom he does not appear to have had any children. Adam Block, portrayed here as a young man, matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, in 1847. He subsequently joined the Indian Civil service and became a Commissioner and Civil Magistrate in Sultanpore, near Lucknow. He was killed in the Indian Mutiny of 9 June 1857. He married Maria, daughter of James Davey of Northwoods, near Bristol, in 1855, by whom he had two sons: Sir Adam Block (b.1856), who joined the diplomatic service, and Maurice Block, who was born in Calcutta in 1857 and joined the Royal Artillery.
William and Henry Barraud often collaborated on sporting pictures. Henry Barraud specialised in portraits, which William who was a pupil of Abraham Cooper, R.A., concentrated in painting horses. They exhibited several of their collaborative works at the Royal Academy between 1836 and 1849 as well as each exhibiting these separately.