The son of a Glasgow carpenter, Campbell was one of the most successful professional soldiers of the nineteenth century. He joined the army at sixteen and fought bravely as a young man in the Napoleonic Wars. Britain then enjoyed a long period of peace and it was not until the Crimean War that Campbell was again to distinguish himself. Campbell held the famous 'thin red line', keeping communication open during the defence of Balaclava in 1854. Three years later he was given supreme command in India, charged with quelling the Mutiny. This seems a small, understated, portrait for such a national hero, but it may be a study for Barker's large painting of 'The Relief of Lucknow'.