François Ferrière was born in Geneva and studied in Paris. He moved to Britain in 1793, exhibiting miniatures in London until 1804, when he travelled to St Petersburg and Moscow. He came back to Britain in 1817, showing his strongly characterised portrait miniatures at the Royal Academy and the British Institution. Five years later he returned to Geneva, where he lived for the rest of his life. A respected portraitist, Ferrière included a number of Scots amongst his clients.