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PORTRAIT OF AN OFFICER
BELIEVED TO BE THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH 1779
ATTRIBUTED TO DAVID ALLAN
1744 -1796 inscribed verso
Oil on canvas 24 x 19 ½ inches
Framed size 29 ¼ x 23 ¾ inches
David Allan was born in Alloa, Scotland on 13 February 1744 son of a shore master, sadly his mother died a few days after his birth.
The Cathcart family became his patrons and helped pay for him to study at the
Foulis Academy, in the College of Glasgow from 1755 to 1762.
Allan travelled to Naples and Rome and was befriended by Lady Cathcart’s brother, Sir William Hamilton. Allan was influenced by the work of Batoni, but also produced portraits that border on the caricature for which he gained the name of the ‘Scottish Hogarth’.
He studied with Gavin Hamilton and absorbed the heroic tradition of history paintings.
He exhibited is work, 12 at the Royal Academy; 4 at the Free Society of Artists and 3 at the Society of Artist of Great Britain 1771 -1781.
From 1777 to 1780 he worked in London and then settled in Edinburgh where he introduced family conversation pieces and small portraits of cabinet size.
Succeeded Alexander Runciman as Master of Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh in 1786, and held this post until his death on 13 February 1796 or 6 August 1796.
Allan created a series of small scale full length watercolours of Edinburgh characters in the 1780’s.
There are some recorded small scale full lengths in oils, like this painting.
Works Represented: Scottish National Portrait Gallery; National Portrait Gallery London; Glasgow Art Gallery; British Museum; Earl Cathcart Collection; Yale.
Bibl: Dictionary of Portrait Painters - Brian Stewart & Mervyn Cutten
This portrait of the Duke was painted to commemorate the raising of the Regiment of the South Fencibles in 1779 by the Duke according to an old inscription.
This painting was at the Duke’s Bowhill residence and recorded in the inventory, No 368.
|Height||24.00 inch||(60.96 cm)|
|Width||19.25 inch||(48.89 cm)|
|External Height||29.25 inch||(74.29 cm)|
|External Width||23.75 inch||(60.32 cm)|
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