Born at sea, the son of Miles Walters, a recognized marine artist, shipwright and seaman, Samuel Walters became one of the brightest and most enduring lights of the Liverpool School of marine art. Trained at the Liverpool Academy, Walters excelled in all facets of marine painting, but was most accomplished in ship portraiture.
Briefly setting up a studio in London with fellow marine artist William Huggins, he decided after two years to return to Liverpool to further his career. His timing was perfect as Liverpool soon became the magnet for the international shipping firms of the 19th Century and a major port of call for the great ships of the world.
Although he exhibited very accomplished harbor views and seascapes, it was in his portraits of the great ships that plied the world's seas that he would find fame and fortune. His finesse earned Walters a reputation as "the aristocrat of 19th Century British marine painters".