Anthony Russel was the son of the artist Theodore Russel, a London based portrait painter. He is known to have studied under John Riley around 1680 and appears to then have followed his father in concentrating on small scale portraits in the manner of Van Dyke.
The present portrait displays this influence strongly, the young man bearing the hallmarks of Van Dykian swagger coupled with the mellow light and shadow of Rileys work. Whilst his father seems to have made small copies directly from a number of Van Dyke portraits, Anthony seems to have taken this influence a step further and painted actual individuals on this scale and in this style. His work is much confused, overlooked and scarce as such a direct attribution is difficult to confirm; the portraits that are known though, compare very favorably with this current work.