World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Allan Ramsay (artist)

Allan Ramsay
Allan Ramsay, self-portrait, c.1737–9
(National Portrait Gallery)
Born 13 October 1713 (1713-10-13)
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Died 10 August 1784(1784-08-10) (aged 70)
Dover, Kent, England
Nationality Scottish
Education London (1733-36, under Hans Huyssing, and at the St. Martin's Lane Academy); Rome (1736-9, under Francesco Solimena and Francesco Fernandi).
Known for Portraiture
Movement Classicism
Patron(s) Duncan Forbes,
Duke of Bridgewater,
George III


Allan Ramsay (13 October 1713 – 10 August 1784) was a prominent Scottish portrait-painter.

Contents

  • Life and career 1
  • Art 2
  • Paintings 3
  • Abolitionism and paintings of Queen Charlotte 4
  • Writings 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Life and career

Ramsay's first wife, Anne Bayne, by Ramsay
Ramsay's second wife Margaret Lindsay, by Ramsay

Allan Ramsay was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the eldest son of Allan Ramsay, poet and author of The Gentle Shepherd. From the age of twenty he studied in London under the Swedish painter Hans Hysing, and at the St. Martin's Lane Academy; leaving in 1736 for Rome and Naples, where he worked for three years under Francesco Solimena and Imperiali (Francesco Fernandi).

On his return in 1738 to the British Isles, he first settled in Edinburgh, attracting attention by his head of Duncan Forbes of Culloden and his full-length portrait of the Duke of Argyll, later used on Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes.

He later moved to London, where he was employed by the Duke of Bridgewater. His pleasant manners and varied culture, not less than his artistic skill, contributed to render him popular. His only serious competitor was Thomas Hudson, with whom he shared a drapery painter, Joseph van Aken. In 1739 he married his first wife, Anne Bayne, the daughter of Alexander Bayne of Rires (c. 1684–1737), and Mary Carstairs (1695?–1759). None of their 3 children survived childhood, and Anne Ramsay died on 4 February 1743, giving birth to the youngest.

One of his drawing pupils was

Court offices
Preceded by
John Shackelton
Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King
1761–1784
Succeeded by
Sir Joshua Reynolds
  • Works in the National Galleries of Scotland
  • Nigel Warburton on the significance of two portraits of Hume and Rousseau
  • Art "4" "2"-Day - Collection of Short Biographies
  • Web Gallery of Art - more examples of Ramsay's work

External links

  •  
  1. ^ Ramsay to Lindsay, 31 March 1752, A. Smart, Allan Ramsay: Painter, Essayist, and Man of the Enlightenment (1992), 96 n. 10
  2. ^ "Lost Bonnie Prince Charlie portrait found in Scotland". BBC News. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Allan Ramsay, BBC; accessed August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "The blurred racial lines of famous families - Queen Charlotte". PBS. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  5. ^ Stuart Jeffries, "Was this Britain's first black queen?" The Guardian, 12 March 2009

References

  • A Dialogue on Taste 1762 ;(Kessinger Publishing 2009) ISBN 978-1-104-59212-7

Writings

Allan Ramsay in old age by Michael Foye 1776

Most historians question whether the 13th-century ancestor, referred to in various places as a 'Moor' and Berber, was black African. In any event, they contend that the connection, nine and 15 generations removed, was too distant to consider Charlotte 'black' in any cultural way, as her other ancestors were all European.[5]

According to Mario de Valdes y Cocom in 2009 on an edition of PBS Frontline, in several paintings of Queen Charlotte, Ramsay deliberately emphasised "mulatto features" which the queen supposedly inherited via descent from a 13th-century Moorish ancestor. [4] Valdes suggests that copies of these paintings were sent to the colonies to be used by abolitionists as a de facto support for their cause.[4]

Abolitionism and paintings of Queen Charlotte

Ramsay has paintings in the collection of a few British institutions including the National Gallery in London, Sheffield, Derby Art Gallery (attributed), Glasgow Museum and Newstead Abbey.[3]

Paintings

In a documentary broadcast by the BBC in February 2014, Ramsay was shown to be the artist who painted the lost portrait of Charles Edward Stuart in 1745, completed on the verge of his invasion of England.[2]

Among his most satisfactory productions are some of his earlier ones, such as the full-length of the duke of Argyll, and the numerous bust-portraits of Scottish gentlemen and their ladies which he executed before settling in London. They are full of both grace and individuality; the features show excellent draughtsmanship; and the flesh-painting is firm and sound in method, though frequently tending a little to hardness and opacity. His full-length of Lady Mary Coke is remarkable for the skill and delicacy with which the white satin drapery is managed; while the portrait of his brown-eyed second wife Margaret, in the Scottish National Gallery, is described as having a sweetness and tenderness. The portrait of his wife also shows the influence of French art, which Ramsay incorporated into his work. The large collection of his sketches in the possession of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Board of Trustees, Edinburgh also show this French elegance and soft colours.

Portrait of George III, circa 1762

Art

He gave up painting in about 1770 to concentrate on literary pursuits. His health was shattered by an accidental dislocation of the right arm and his second wife's death in 1782. With unflinching pertinacity, he struggled until he had completed a likeness of the king upon which he was engaged at the time, and then started for his beloved Italy. He left a series of 50 royal portraits to be completed by his assistant Reinagle. For several years he lingered in the south, his constitution finally broken. He died at Dover on 10 August 1784.

Ramsay and his new wife spent 1754–1757 together in Italy, going to Rome, Florence, Naples and David Martin and Philip Reinagle are the best known.

Three children survived from their long and happy marriage, Amelia (1755–1813), Charlotte (1758–1818?), and John (1768–1845). [1]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.