John O'Brien Inman (1828-1896) was born in New York City. He was the son of artist Henry Inman (1801-1846), and was one of the founders and first vice-president of the National Academy of Design in New York City. Inman studied under his father, who painted landscapes and miniatures, as well as portraits and genre scenes. By 1853, the younger Inman was exhibiting at the National Academy of Design. In his youth, he worked as a portrait painter in the South and West; later he moved his studio to New York City, where he specialized in small genre pieces and flower paintings. Inman was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1865. The following year, he moved to Europe and opened a studio in Rome. He remained abroad until 1878, when he returned for a while to New York. While in Europe, he executed a number of sentimental genre scenes with local settings. Inman's work is admired for its technical skill and, in the case of his later works, for its reflection of European influences.