William Barraud was born into an unusually talented family whose accomplishments included medicine, horology, photography and painting. He is reputed to have worked in the Customs House for a short period, but he left this to devote his time entirely to painting. He studied under Abraham Cooper and became primarily known for his pictures of horses and dogs. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1828-50 and at the British Institution from 1828-49. Sally Mitchell notes that 'his animal painting is of a very high quality and of great charm' (The Dictionary of Equestrian Artists, Woodbridge, 1985, p. 112).