Vanderbank was born in London and, from 1711, studied at the Kneller Academy. As a result of factions, the artist James Thornhill seceded from the Kneller Academy to form an Academy in Covent Garden, while Vanderbank founded another rival one with Cheron, in 1720, in St Martin’s Lane. Vanderbank worked as a history and portrait painter as well as a book illustrator. His drawings are bold and lively but the pictures more sober. Vertue considered that only intemperance prevented him from becoming the leading portrait painter of his day. He died of consumption at the age of 45.