Portrait of an Unknown Man

Image credit: Gairloch Museum

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This painting is a portrait of a young man who is believed to have inspired a Gaelic song after he tragically drowned off the coast of Red Point, Gairloch. It is said that he drowned within sight of his 'lady love' and the song is entitled 'I Loved the Fair Haired Laddie'.

The man in question is thought to be Alexander MacPherson, born in 1794. Alexander was the younger brother of George MacPherson, a tacksman at Melvaig, Gairloch. A tacksman was a Highland landholder who leased out land, which he in turn was renting from a laird.

Gairloch Museum



Portrait of an Unknown Man


oil on board


H 38.5 x W 32 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Jean M. Macdonald, 2011

Work type



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Gairloch Museum

Achtercairn, Gairloch, Highland IV21 2BP Scotland

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