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Born at Stockbridge, Raeburn was orphaned in boyhood, educated at George Heriot’s Hospital and apprenticed to an Edinburgh jeweller and goldsmith. In 1784 he decided to go to Rome, but it is unclear what he did during his stay of around two years. Back in Edinburgh his career took off: he painted members of the judiciary and the landed, literary, professional and mercantile classes of Scotland, leaving us a fascinating visual directory of the upper echelons of Scottish society of the period. After the turn of the century Raeburn had a near-monopoly of portraiture in Scotland.
oil on canvas
H 120.7 x W 100.3 cm