John Cleveley the Elder (c. 1712-1777) lived and worked at King's Yard Row (part of the Royal Dockyard) in Deptford, near London. A high proportion of his extant paintings depict local subjects, notably shipbuilding and ship launches. His twin sons, Robert (1747-1809) and John the Younger (1747-1786), were also artists. They lived in Deptford and worked in the Royal Dockyard, sometimes as caulkers or in other shipyard professions. Robert died as a result of falling over a cliff at Dover.