DescriptionSIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A., P.R.A. (British 1756 - 1823)
James Newbigging of Whitehouse, circa 1813
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 inches
Adam Rolland, Esq., Gask, Scotland, by 1876 to after 1901;
Weekes (according to Greig), by 1911;
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London;
Private Collection, New York;
Newhouse Galleries, New York, NY;
Mr. and Mrs. F. Howard Walsh, Fort Worth, Texas;
Walsh Family Art Trust
James Greig, Sir Henry Raeburn, His Life and Works (London, 1911), p. 55.
Edward Pinnington, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. (London, 1904), p. 243.
Sir Walter Armstrong, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. (London, 1901), p. 109.
William Raeburn Andrew, Life of Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., (London, 1894), p. 143, no. 233.
Royal Academy, Edinburgh, "Raeburn Exhibition", 1876, no. 20.
One of Scotland's most celebrated painters, Henry Raeburn is known for his distinct portrait style characterized by bold, virtuoso brushwork. In 1784 he traveled to London and spent time in the studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was to have a profound influence on the Scottish artist. Following Reynolds's footsteps, Raeburn traveled south and worked in Italy for about two years, during which time he executed his first known work, a miniature portrait of the 2nd Earl Spencer. Upon his return, Raeburn established himself as a major portraitist in Edinburgh and later, into the first decade of the 19th century, earned great recognition in London. He began exhibiting in London around 1810 and was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1812 and full Academician in 1815. He was knighted by King George IV in 1822.
The present portrait of James Newbigging exemplifies Raeburn's incisive portrait style: against a warm neutral background, the sitter looks confidently and directly out at the viewer. The artist's technical virtuosity is particularly evident in the broadly painted white collar and green lapels of the sitter's coat. With an economy of detail and use of strong light, Raeburn creates and enhances compositional focus on Mr. Newbigging's face.
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