Dr Ralph Schomberg (1714 - 1792) was a physician; he is said to have settled in Bath about 1761 and was apparently still there in 1771, but later moved to Reading. Dr Schomberg was occasionally called in by Gainsborough to attend his family, and is known to have attended his elder daughter Mary in 1771. Gainsborough hoped that Dr Schomberg had cured her of a recurring illness which other doctors had pronounced to be hereditary. This portrait may have been painted in lieu of medical fees.
Stylistically the painting is datable to the end of Gainsborough's Bath period. It was in the sitter's family until bought by the Gallery.