Raeburn Sir Henry
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Raeburn Sir Henry Biography(1756–1823)
Raeburn Sir Henry is a Scottish portrait painter. In spite of his status, his career is surprisingly little documented. Raeburn Sir Henry was born in 1756, in Edinburgh, was orphaned, educated at Heriot’s Hospital in Edinburgh, and brought up under the general supervision of his elder brother William. In 1772, Raeburn Sir Henry was apprenticed to James Gilliland, an Edinburgh goldsmith; while he was still an apprentice he began to paint miniatures, first in watercolors, then in oils.
Raeburn Sir Henry was knighted by George IV in
1822, and appointed king’s limner for
Scotland a few days before his death. His
style was to some extent founded on that of
Reynolds, but his bold brushwork and brave
use of contrasting colors make Raeburn Sir Henry paintings
original. Among his sitters were the writer
Sir Walter Scott, philosopher Hume,
songwriter and printer Boswell, critic and
essayist John Wilson and other outstanding
men of Scotland.
Today it is one of Scotland's best known Raeburn Sir Henry paintings (despite unproven claims it
was actually painted by the French artist
Henri-Pierre Danloux) and something of a
Scottish cultural icon. So iconic was it
that the Catalan architect of the
magnificent new Scottish Parliament
building, Enric Miralles, designed the
building, one of the repeating patters
he used was said to be based on the outline of
the Raeburn Sir Henry painting of the minister.
In 1808, Scott's publisher Archibald Constable, delighted by the unprecedented success of Scott's second narrative poem Marmion, commissioned a portrait from him. Unlike the earlier Raeburn Sir Henry portraits of Scott which were designed for a private, domestic setting, Raeburn Sir Henry portrait was very much conceived with reproduction in mind. For over a decade, it would be the most frequently engraved and widely diffused image of Scott.
Scott himself shared Morritt's view that in
aiming for solemnity he had given him a
somewhat stolid air. His features are
softened in an alternative version painted
for Scott himself by Raeburn Sir Henry in 1809.
Eventually, though, Scott appears to have
been reconciled to the 1808 portrait. When
Archibald Constable was bankrupted in 1826
(see The Fall of Archibald Constable and
Co.), the Raeburn Sir Henry painting was purchased by Scott's
patron the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. In a
letter to the Duke of 14 December 1826,
Scott wrote: 'I must say I was extremely
gratified by seeing Raeburn Sir Henry portrait (which
was like what the original was some two or
three years before your Grace was born)
hanging at Dalkeith and feel sincerely the
kindness which placed it there. One does not
like the idea of being knockd down even
though it is only in effigy (Letters, X,
139-40). Today the Raeburn Sir Henry painting still hangs at Bowhill, home of the Dukes of Buccleuch.
Many published engravings were made after his 1808 portrait. In Raeburn Sir Henry Portraits of Sir Walter Scott, Francis Russell lists 6 engravings of the complete portrait and 14 derivations including partial reproductions and variations on his original.
Raeburn Sir Henry Paintings for SaleToperfect supply oil painting masterpiece reproductions of the famous painter above, you are welcome to send us your own picture to copy.
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