David George Steell came from a famous Scottish family of artists. His Father, Gourlay Steell, was a renowned animal painter, his grandfather was a woodcut artist and his uncle John made name as a sculptor. David George received his first lessons from his father and afterwards studied with the Edinburgh School of Art. He specialised in painting dog portraits and landscapes with horses and Highland cattle, which got a lot of success with the Scottish aristocracy. Steell belonged to the select group of Scottish artists who were elected for the RSA, the Royal Scottish Academy.