The sitter, a member of the Colchester family of Westbury Court, Gloucestershire is depicted elegantly at ease surrounded by much of the land owned by his family. Sat on a rustic bench holding a broad brimmed summer hat, the river Severn flows past him from the left and opens up to a landscape that includes parts of the Forest of Dean, the Westbury Court estate to the right and in the distance the wider opening leading towards the Mouth of the Severn in the vicinity of Bristol. Westbury Court gardens is now owned by the National Trust having been thoughtfully laid out by Maynard Colchester in the early 18th century and added to by successive generations. At the time of this painting, circa 1845, the original manor at Westbury Court had been demolished, as indeed had later houses, resulting in the Colchester family residing at another home nearby.
A hugely talented artist Henry Parkman was predominantly a portrait painter who excelled at highly detailed depictions of sitters in a style that was very popular in the mid 19th century. He lived for the most part in Bristol and as such many of his portraits are of individuals associated with the local area. He exhibited works at the Royal Academy, London from 1847-1856 and perhaps the most significant portrait he executed was of the great caricaturist and illustrator George Cruikshank.