Harrington Fitzgerald was born in Philadelphia in 1847. He was managing director of the Philadelphia Item newspaper for almost thirty years, but spent his free time painting landscapes and marine pictures. As a teenager, he studied with John Singer Sargent in Philadelphia, then traveled to Paris to learn from the European painters Gérôme and Fortuny. Fitzgerald was president of the American Art Society and also collected portraits of notable Philadelphians. His work is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.