A three-quarter-length portrait to right wearing midshipman's uniform with a blue coat. He faces the viewer with his hands folded, standing in front of a rock. In the background a ship denotes the naval career upon which he is embarking.
John Russell entered the Navy in 1824. He was promoted lieutenant on 9 May 1832 and was appointed to the ‘Ariadne’, 28 guns, on the North American station. In 1834 he transferred to the 74-gun ‘Malabar’ and went to the Mediterranean; in 1838–39 he returned to North America as first lieutenant in the steamer ‘Medea’. He joined another steamer, the ‘Stromboli’, in 1840 and was present at the bombardment of Acre. His services there secured him promotion to commander on 4 November that year. In 1841 he gained his first and only command, the steam sloop ‘Argent’, and was on the South American and the African station until 1845, when he was made post. No further service followed and he was made rear-admiral on the reserved half-pay list on 13 November 1863.