Robert Carver was one of the leading landscape painters in the second half of eighteenth century Ireland. Like his contemporary Thomas Roberts, Carver was born into a Waterford family. His first lessons were provided by his father Richard, also a landscape painter. Later he would train under Robert West at the Dublin Society Schools and would establish himself as an esteemed Dublin scenery painter. In 1754, Carver succeeded John Lewis as scenery painter at Smock Alley Theatre, where he painted a wide array of scenery. He would later be employed by the revived rival theatre in Crow Street where he painted for Spranger Barry among others. Carver moved to London around 1769 and was hired by Garrick as the head scene painter at Drury Lane. Here his work was highly regarded and received much praise.
Between 1765 and 1768 Carver sent twenty paintings to the Free Society's exhibitions in London. He became a member there in 1773 and President of the society in 1777. Carver died of pneumonia in 1791, while completing a series of paintings for his patron Lord Altamont in Westport, County Mayo.