After initially training with the portrait painter John Vanderbank in London, Arthur Pond travelled to Rome in 1725, returning to London via Paris. By 1736, he had established a successful practice in pastel and oil portraiture. He further supplemented his income as an active and respected art dealer and expert in Rembrandt prints. Ultimately, he built a highly influential reputation as a connoisseur. While Pond’s works lack the finesse of his finer continental contemporaries, the freshness and directness of his portraiture is notable and even arresting when at his best, as in this finely preserved pastel.