This miniature is attributed to Barclay based on comparison with other known portraits by the artist . Barclay was born possibly in London and was also possibly the son of William Barclay (fl. 1764–1769), miniature painter, of Tottenham, Middlesex. He entered the Royal Academy Schools on 15 January 1820, aged twenty-two, under the title 'William Barclay Jnr'. He established himself as a miniature painter, practising in London and Paris throughout the period 1830 to 1859.
Barclay specialized in making copies of the works of the great Italian masters in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, as well as producing portrait miniatures on ivory in the style of, but considerably weaker than, Sir William Ross.