James Heath Millington was born in Ireland and spent the early part of his life in Cork and Dublin. He came to London in 1826 to study at the Royal Academy Schools and is recorded as exhibiting there from 1831 until two years before his death. A talented and adaptable artist he is most known for working as a miniaturist, but it appears that he also executed larger scale portraits such as the one presented here, drawn in 1832. His work shows the influence of contemporaries such as William Etty and A. E. Chalon. Both a liveliness of character and freshness of colour are achieved through an apparent spontaneity of approach to the subject.
Examples of his work can be found chiefly amongst private collections in the U.K. and at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.