Businessman Norman Macfarlane is the founder of the successful Macfarlane (Clansman) Group. He established the business after the Second World War, with his £200 army gratuity. In 1987 he became Chairman of United Distillers, and today is Honorary Life President of the company. In addition to his business interests, Lord Macfarlane has also played a prominent role in support of the arts in Scotland. He is depicted wearing the imposing robes of a Knight of the Thistle, which occupy three quarters of the painting.