Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sir Henry Raeburn

Three weeks after joining Walter Scott and others at an outing of the Blairadam Antiquarian Club, portraitist Henry Raeburn passed away; July 8, 1823.  Raeburn was covered in an earlier post that included his 1823 portrait of Scott.  Raeburn painted Scott four times in total, the last two being for a) Charles Montagu-Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch and b) his own collection.

Scott was not terribly pleased with the first two Raeburn efforts (in 1808 and 1809), responding to the Duke of Buccleuch's request that he sit for Raeburn:"I hesitate a little about Raeburn unless your Grace is quite determined. He has very much to do works just now chiefly for cash poor fellow as he can have but a few years to make money and has twice made a very chowderheaded  person of me. I should like much (always with your approbation) to try [Sir William] Allan who is a man of real genius and has made one or two glorious portraits though his predilection is to the historical branch of the art. (15 April 1819, Letters, V, 349).

Scott was very pleased, however, when he saw the 1823 version: [the portrait is] 'a better picture (the subject considered) than any one but Lawrence could at present produce' (letter to Lady Louisa Stuart, 4 April 1824, Letters, VIII, 245).


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