More initially worked as a painter of stage scenery for the New Theatre in Edinburgh before concentrating on landscape painting. He had trained with Robert Norie and Alexander Nasmyth, combining observation from nature with a strong sense of formal design. His views of the Clyde Falls established his artistic reputation in Edinburgh and London. In early 1771, he moved to London where his work attracted the attention of Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of the Royal Academy. More then travelled to Rome and decided to settle there. He enjoyed international acclaim as 'More of Rome', working with Allan Ramsay and painting classical landscapes.