Recognized in England as the greatest portraitist of his time, Chantrey is a rare example of a self-taught sculptor. He suffused his strongly characterized figures with a new realism, while maintaining a simplicity in the dress, a dignity in the pose and a very Neoclassical restraint. Although highly regarded for his traditional funerary monuments and public statues, he established his reputation with some hundred busts of his contemporaries, which he modelled in clay and finished in marble. Politicians, aristocrats, scientists and artists vied for an opportunity to sit for Chantrey. He even had the unique privilege of executing portraits of four of his sovereigns, from George III to the young Queen Victoria. Chantrey himself carved this bust of the Scottish judge Allan Maconochie, 1st Lord Meadowbank (1748-1816), in the early days of his career.