Thomas Beach was born in Dorsetshire in 1738. He studied at the St Martin’s Lane Academy in London and became a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1760 at the age of 22. He settled initially in Bath, whence he travelled in Dorset and in Somerset, specializing in portraiture of the local gentry, both single portraits and groups, which are usually on a small scale. From 1772 to 1783 he exhibited at the Society of Artists, of which he was a member and later Vice-President. By 1785 he also had a London address in St James’s Square, where he had a painting room, and from there he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1785 until 1797. The Garrick Club possesses four single portraits by him together with his ‘Macbeth’ (G0390), with John Philip Kemble as Macbeth and Sarah Siddons as Lady Macbeth. Beach exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy in 1786.