This may be a self-portrait of the prolific 19th-century American painter Charles Loring Elliott. In the early 1830s Elliott studied in New York City with John Trumbull and John Quidor. He spent the next decade as an itinerant portraitist, returning to New York around 1845, after which he began to exhibit his work at the National Academy of Design. Within five years he was considered to be the finest portrait painter of his time. Elliott seems to have painted more than seven hundred portraits during his career, but the inscription on this watercolor claims that only one of these was in the medium of watercolor.
This work was formerly housed in one of William T. Walters' drawings albums.