Commander-in-chief of the forces in Scotland, Lord Adam Gordon was the fourth son of the 2nd Duke of Gordon. After seeing active service in France and the Americas he became Member of Parliament for Kincardine. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief for Scotland in 1782 and took up his residence in the Palace of Holyrood house. In 1796 he became governor of Edinburgh Castle. This unfinished portrait was painted in 1799 and it is typical of the preliminary studies that Danloux produced for larger compositions.