Henry Dilworth Gilpin was born in Lancaster, England, on April 14, 1801. He attended school near London from 1811 till 1816. After moving to the United States, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819. He read law with Joseph R. Ingersoll, and was admitted to the bar in 1822. Gilpin was appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1831 and Solicitor of the United States Treasury in 1837. He was appointed Attorney General of the United States on January 11, 1840, by President Van Buren and served until March of 1841. Gilpin died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 29, 1860.
Born in Pittsburgh, the artist studied under Edward Miles and Thomas Sully. He established the Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts in Pittsburgh. This was heralded as the first public exhibit of art in “the West.” Lambdin also lived and worked in Louisville, Kentucky and Philadelphia. Many national figures, including Lincoln, Grant, and Chief Justice Marshall, were among his sitters. His portrait of Gilpin was done in 1854.