This portrait of John Campbell is an important early depiction of Highland dress. The elaborate costume and landscape background indicate the status of the young sitter, who was heir to one of the great Highland families, the Campbells of Glenorchy. John Campbell was born in London and educated in Oxford. From 1720 until 1729 he was a diplomat at the Danish court in Copenhagen and in 1731 he became ambassador to Russia. Campbell was also an elected MP. He succeeded his father as Earl of Breadalbane in 1752 and that same year was chosen as a representative peer for Scotland. In later life Campbell spent much time and energy improving the family estate on the shores of Loch Tay in Perthshire.