Ambrose McEvoy was born in Wiltshire. James McNeill Whistler spotted his talent early on and encouraged him to enroll at the Slade School of Fine Art in London when he was fifteen. At the Slade he was part of the group around Augustus John and William Orpen. In 1900 he became a member of the New English Art Club, with whom he exhibited landscapes and interiors. Later in his career he established a reputation as a portrait painter of fashionable society beauties.