See also:born at
See also:Stockbridge, a suburb of
See also:Edinburgh, on the 4th of
See also:March 1756, the son of a manufacturer of the city . He was early
See also:left an
See also:orphan . Being placed in Heriot's Hospital, he received there the elements of a sound
See also:education, and at the age of fifteen was apprenticed to a goldsmith in Edinburgh, Here he had some little opportunity for the practice of the humbler kinds of
See also:art, and various pieces of
See also:mourning rings, and the like, adorned with minute drawings on ivory by his
See also:hand, are still extant . Soon he took to the production of carefully finished miniatures; and,
See also:meeting with success and patronage, he extended his practice to oil-
See also:painting, being all the while quite self-taught . The worthy goldsmith his
See also:master watched the progress of his
See also:pupil with
See also:interest, gave him every encouragement, and introduced him to
See also:Martin, who had been the favourite assistant of Allan
See also:Ramsay junior, and was now the leading portrait-painter in Edinburgh .
See also:burn received considerable assistance from Martin, and was especially aided by the
See also:loan of portraits to copy . Soon the
See also:young painter had gained sufficient skill to render it advisable that he should devote himself exclusively to painting . When he was in his twenty-second
See also:year he was asked to paint the portrait of a young
See also:lady whom he had previously observed and admired when he was sketching from nature in the
See also:fields . She was the daughter of
See also:Peter Edgar of Bridgelands and widow of Count
See also:Leslie . The lady was speedily fascinated by the handsome and intellectual young artist, and in a
See also:month she became his wife, bringing him an ample
See also:fortune . This early
See also:insurance against the risks of his chosen profession, did not, however, diminish his anxiety to excel . The acquisition of
See also:wealth affected neither his
See also:enthusiasm nor his
See also:industry, but rather spurred him to greater efforts to acquire a thorough knowledge of his craft .
After the approvedfashion of artists of the
See also:time, it was resolved that
See also:Raeburn should visit Italy, and he accordingly started with his wife . In
See also:London he was kindly received by
See also:Reynolds, who gave him excellent advice as to his study in Rome, especially recommending to his
See also:attention the
See also:works of Michelangelo . He also offered him more substantial pecuniary aid, which was declined as unneeded; but Raeburn carried with him to Italy many valuable introductions from the
See also:president of the Academy . In Rome he made the acquaintance of Gavin
See also:Hamilton, of
See also:Batoni, and of Byers . For the advice of the last-named he used to acknowledge himself greatly indebted, particularly for the recommendation that " he should never copy an
See also:object from memory, but, from the
See also:principal figure to the minutest
See also:accessory, have it placed before him." After two years of study in Italy he returned to Edin: burgh in 1787, where he began a most successful career as a portrait-painter . In that year he executed an admirable seated portrait of the second
See also:Lord President Dundas . Of his earlier
See also:portraiture we have interesting examples in the bust-likeness of Mrs
See also:Johnstone of Baldovie and in the three-quarter-length of Dr
See also:James Hutton, works which, if they are somewhat timid and tentative in handling and wanting iv the trenchant
See also:work and assured mastery of subsequent productions, are full of delicacy and character . The portraits of
See also:John Clerk, Lord Eldin, and of Principal
See also:Hill of St Andrews belong to a somewhat later
See also:period . Raeburn was fortunate in the time in which he practised portraiture . Sir Walter
See also:Mackenzie, Woodhouselee,
See also:Robertson, Home,
See also:Ferguson, and Dugald
See also:Stewart were
See also:resident in Edinburgh, and they all, along with a
See also:host of others less celebrated, honoured the painter's canvases . Of his fully matured manner we could have no finer examples than his own portrait and that of the Rev . Sir
See also:Henry Moncrieff Wellwood, the bust of Dr Wardrop of Torbane Hill, the two full-lengths of
See also:Rolland of Gask, the remarkable paintings of Lord
See also:Newton and Dr
See also:Alexander Adam in the
See also:National Gallery of Scotland, and that of
See also:Macdonald of St Martin's .
It was commonly believed that Raeburn was less successful in his
See also:female than in his male portraits, but the exquisite full-length of his wife, the smaller likeness of Mrs R . Scott Moncrieff in the Scottish National Gallery, and that of Mrs Robert
See also:Bell, and others, are sufficient to prove that he could portray all the
See also:grace and beauty of the gentler sex . Raeburn spent his
See also:life in Edinburgh, rarely visiting the metropolis, and then only for brief periods, thus preserving his own sturdy individuality, if he missed the opportunity of engrafting on it some of the
See also:fuller refinement and delicacy of the London portraitists . But though he, personally, may have lost some of the advantages which might presumably have resulted from closer association with the leaders of
See also:English art, and from contact with a wider public, Scottish art certainly gained much from his disinclination to leave his native
See also:land . He became the acknowledged chief of the school which was growing up in Scotland during the earlier years of the 19th century, and to his example and influence at a critical period is undoubtedly due much of the striking virility by which the work of his followers and immediate successors is distinguished . Evidences of this influence can be perceived even in the
See also:day . His leisure was employed in athletic sports, in his
See also:garden, and in architectural and
See also:mechanical pursuits, and so varied were the interests that 'filled his life that his sitters used to say of him, " You would never take him for a painter till he seizes the brush and
See also:palette." Professional honours fell thick upon him . In 1812 he was elected president of the Society of Artists in Edinburgh, in 1814 associate, and in the following year full member of the Royal Academy . In 1822 he was knighted by
See also:George IV. and appointed His
See also:Majesty's limner for Scotland . He died at Edinburgh on the 8th of
See also:July 1823 . In his own day the portraits of Raeburn were excellently and voluminously engraved, especially by the last members of the
See also:great school of English
See also:mezzotint . In 1876 a collection of over 300 of his works was brought together in the Royal Scottish Academy galleries; in the following year a series of twelve of his finest portraits was included in the winter
See also:exhibition of the Royal Academy, London; and a
See also:volume of photographs from his paintings was edited by Dr John
See also:Brown .
Raeburn possessed all the necessary requirements of a popular and successful portrait-painter . He had thepower of producing a telling and forcible likeness; his productions are distinguished by breadth of effect, by admirable force of handling, by execution of the swiftest and most resolute sort .
See also:Wilkie has recorded that, while travelling in Spain and studying the works of Velazquez, the brush-work of that master reminded him constantly of the " square
See also:touch " of Raeburn . But the portraits of Velazquez are unsurpassable examples of
See also:tone as well as of handling, and it is in the former quality that Raeburn is often wanting, possibly because his inclinations led him to study effects of diffused
See also:light in preference to those which were strong in contrasts of light and shade . The
See also:colour of his portraits is some-times crude and out of relation, inclining to the use of
See also:positive and definite
See also:local pigments, and too little perceptive of the changeful subtleties and modifications of atmospheric effect . His draperies frequently consist of little more than two
See also:colours —the local
See also:hue of the fabric and the black which, more or less graduated, expresses its shadows and modelling . In his flesh, too, he wants—in all but his very best productions—the delicate refinements of colouring which distinguish the works of the great English portrait-painters . His faces, with all their excellent truth of
See also:form and splendid vigour of handling, are often hard and bricky in hue . Yet, after all allowances have been made for what deficiencies there may be in his work, his right to a place among, the greater
See also:British masters cannot be contested . The masculine power, the vitality and the strength of characterization which are so apparent in his paintings entitle him. to the serious attention of all lovers of
See also:fine achievement; and there is much to be learned from study of his methods . His sincerity and freedom from artificial graces of
See also:style can be specially recognized, and his
See also:frank directness is always attractive . See Life of Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., by his great-
See also:grandson William Raeburn Andrew, M.A .
Oxon . (2nd ed., 1894), which contains some of the latestinformation, together with a
See also:catalogue of the exhibition of 1876 . There may also be consulted Works of Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., with tributes by Dr John Brown and others, published by Andrew Elliot, Edinburgh; Tribute to the Memory of Raeburn by Dr Andrew
See also:Duncan, the Catalogues of theloan exhibitions in Edinburgh of 1884 and 19o1; and the
See also:Essay by W . E . Henley—Sir Henry Raeburn by William Ernest Henley (189o) with a finely produced series of plates, printed by T . & A .
See also:Constable for the now defunct Royal Association for Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland . But the leading work on the subject, and the most splendidly illustrated, is Sir Henry Raeburn by Sir Walter
See also:Armstrong, with an introduction by R . A . M .
See also:Stevenson and a
See also:biographical and descriptive catalogue by J . L .
Caw (19or) .
JOHN RAE (1813-1893)
RAETIA (so always in inscriptions; in classical MSS...
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