Beechey had a distinguished career as a portrait painter that spanned
more than sixty years. He was taught by Johann Zoffany, and in 1793 became Queen Charlotte's portrait painter.
Here he portrays the sculptor, Joseph Nollekens whose fame and fortune rested principally on his portrait busts in plaster or marble. His most popular busts, including those of the politicians Charles James Fox and William Pitt,
were mass-produced in large quantities by his assistants.