William Dyce was born at Aberdeen and studied at the Royal Academy Schools in London and at the English Academy, Rome. Most of his career was spent in London. In Italy, to which he returned several times, he became interested in the Italian Quattrocento and fresco painting. He was later influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. As a painter, he was most successful in later life, executing commissions for frescoes at Westminster Hall and Osborne House as well as individual work.