He first appears as an exhibitor at the Royal Academy in 1771, when he sent a portrait and A Philosopher. In 1772 he exhibited Saint Sebastian and a portrait. In 1773 Jael and Sisera and three portraits.
And continued to exhibit pictures in oil and crayon, and drawings, for some years.
During these years he was resident in Great Ormond Street, and in 1775 appears in the catalogue of the Royal Academy as John Saunders, junior. Possibly, some works mentioned above were exhibited by his father.
In 1778 he removed to Norwich, but continued to contribute to the Royal Academy portraits, including one of Doctor Crotch the musician, and views of Norwich Cathedral. In 1790 he removed to Bath, where he practised for many years with success as a portrait-painter.
A portrait of Judith, countess of Radnor (at Longford Castle), painted in 1821, is a very good example of his work.
He is mentioned by Madame d"Arblay in her Journal as painting a portrait of Princess Charlotte of Wales. Sanders died at Clifton in 1825. He was popular as a drawing-master.
He emigrated to Canada in 1832.
Sanders has at least five paintings in National collections in the United Kingdom.