James Ramsay was born in Newcastle, England and produced there and in London the 200 portraits or so on which his reputation rests. These were of the famous people of his day and include Thomas Bewick, of whom he painted several portraits, exhibiting two at the Royal Academy. Ramsay also painted a few landscapes, including views of South Shields and Tynemouth. He spent a number of years in London but returned to Newcastle in 1847. He died seven years later, in 1854, at #40 Blackett Street. This collection came through the estate of British artist, Frederick Porter (1833-1944), and was acquired through the esteemed Bloomsbury Workshop in London.