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  1. #1
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    pre-1800 Highlander portraits

    I'm on a little project, collecting images all dated in order of the earliest oil portraits of men in Highland Dress.

    I'm sticking to actual portraits painted from life, as far as is known. This means I'm not including any of the fantasy portraits of Bonny Prince Charlie, political cartoons, etc. I'm also mostly avoiding military portraits, and sticking to full-length portraits.

    I'm mostly basing it on History of Highland Dress by John Telfer Dunbar (1962).

    I'm sure that hitherto unknown portraits come to light from time to time, and I'd love to add those if possible.

    First I'll list the earliest clear images, not portraits but illustrations, for sake of inclusiveness.

    1562. Francois Desprez, in Recueil de la Diversite des Habits. Paris. (Called "the world's first costume book".)

    c1567-1577. Lucas de Heere. Flanders.

    1631. German Broadsheet "Irrlander."

    17th c. Hieronymus Tielssch, Travel Album.

    Full Length Oil Portraits.

    c1683. Michael Wright, Lord Mungo Murray.

    c1700-1710. Richard Waitt, Kenneth 3rd Lord Duffus.

    c1708. Unknown, John Campbell, Young Glenorchy, later Earl of Breadalbane.

    1714. Richard Waitt, Alastair Mor Grant, The Champion.

    1714. Richard Waitt, William Cumming, Piper to the Laird Grant.

    c1723. Unknown, Major James Fraser of Castle Leather.

    1726. Hans Hysing, Thomas Earl of Darby, later 4th Duke of Leeds.

    c1730. Andrew MacPherson of Cluny 15th Chief.

    c1730. Unknown, copied from Jerimiah Davidson, Lord George Murray. (Highland Dress has been added by the copyist.)

    c1739. Possibly Jerimiah Davidson, James Moray 14th Laird of Abercairney.

    c1740. Unknown, James 3rd Duke of Perth.

    1746. David Morier, Incident of the Scotch Rebellion.

    c1740-1750. Unknown, Gregor MacGregor of Glengyle.

    c1747. Allan Ramsay, Francis Charteris 5th Earl of Wemyss.

    1748. Allan Ramsay, Norman 22nd Chief of MacLeod.

    c1750. Unknown, Alexander Macdonnell of Glengarry.

    c1750. William Delacour, Sir Stuart Threipland.

    c1750. Unknown, The MacDonald Boys.

    1762. Francis Cotes, Pryse Campbell. (3/4 portrait.)

    c1765. Possibly Allan Ramsay the Younger, Sir Alexander MacDonald 1st Lord MacDonald of Sleat.

    1765. Sir Joshua Reynolds, John 4th Earl of Dunmore.

    c1765. Pompeo Batoni, c1780. Colonel the Honourable William Gordon.

    c1780. David Allan, John 4th Duke of Atholl and Family.

    c1780. Unknown, 4th Duke of Gordon and Family (with the future 5th Duke of Gordon in Highland Dress).
    Last edited by OC Richard; 13th May 24 at 09:55 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  2. #2
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    John "The Bank" Campbell by William Mosman, 1759
    https://www.natwestgroup.com/heritag...rait-1759.html

    The painting was not on display when I visited in 1983. The pulled it out of storage and allowed to take detailed photographs. Figheadair was able to recreate the tartan, if I'm not mistaken


    Pryse Campbell, Portrait by Francis Cotes, date (I don't know, mid-18th C) Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pryse_Campbell

    I also surreptitiously got a photo of this portrait at Cawdor Castle.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Sorry that I forgot to mention it, but I was only listing full length portraits, due to my using these to trace the history of Highland Dress including footwear. So there were a number of, for example, Grant 1/2 portraits not on my list.

    But Pryse Campbell needs to be added! It's a beautiful 3/4 portrait and it's a great record showing the sporran of that time.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 11th May 24 at 04:54 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  4. #4
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    John the Bank is 3/4 as well (depends on which site you're looking at). Hesketh's book has a good image. The coat skirts are old enough style that the sporran is mostly covered.

    @figheadair is there a similarity of the kilt material between the Pryse Campbell portrait and of John the Bank?
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCampbell16B View Post
    John the Bank is 3/4 as well (depends on which site you're looking at). Hesketh's book has a good image. The coat skirts are old enough style that the sporran is mostly covered.

    @figheadair is there a similarity of the kilt material between the Pryse Campbell portrait and of John the Bank?
    Beyond both being predominantly red, not really.

  6. #6
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    c.1710 - Portrait of a Highlander, Richard Waitt

    c.1730 - John Stuart 3rd Earl of Bute by William Aikman

    c.1735-45 - A Jacobite Group in St James Park by Peter John van Reysschoot

    c.1745-6 - Lord George Murray (at Blair Castle)

    c.1750 - Figures from the wall painting at Loevestein Castle, Netherlands

    1756 - James Francis Edward Moray, Yr of Abercairney by William Mosman

    1766 - Hon William Gordon by Botinelli

    c.1790 - Alasdair Ranaldson MacDonell, 15th Chief of Glengarry by Angelica Kauffmann

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Beyond both being predominantly red, not really.
    Thank you.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    c.1710 - Portrait of a Highlander, Richard Waitt

    c.1730 - John Stuart 3rd Earl of Bute by William Aikman

    c.1735-45 - A Jacobite Group in St James Park by Peter John van Reysschoot

    c.1745-6 - Lord George Murray (at Blair Castle)

    c.1750 - Figures from the wall painting at Loevestein Castle, Netherlands

    1756 - James Francis Edward Moray, Yr of Abercairney by William Mosman

    1766 - Hon William Gordon by Botinelli

    c.1790 - Alasdair Ranaldson MacDonell, 15th Chief of Glengarry by Angelica Kauffmann
    Thanks! I knew I had missed some.

    So what's the thing with the Lord George Murray portrait? (If such it can rightly be called.)

    John Telfer Dunbar says

    "His portrait, in a white shirt and stock, plain coat, and waistcoat was painted by Jeremiah Davidson.

    There is, however, at Blair Castle, a picture of Jacobite Highlanders the central figure of which appears to be Lord George Murray, copied from the Davidson portrait.

    In 1745 he would have been 51 years of age, and the man in the Blair Castle portrait certainly looks younger.

    In 1894 the Duke of Atholl was unable to trace any history or tradition attached to the picture."


    This sounds much like the Prince Charles "propaganda pictures" as Dunbar calls them, earlier portraits done from life of Charlies in ordinary dress which around the '45 were copied and altered to show him in Highland Dress. Evidently Charles never sat for a portrait in Highland Dress.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCampbell16B View Post
    John the Bank is 3/4 as well (depends on which site you're looking at). Hesketh's book has a good image.
    Thanks for directing my attention to Hesketh, where I saw some portraits that aren't in Dunbar.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    c1730. Unknown, copied from Jerimiah Davidson, Lord George Murray. (Highland Dress has been added by the copyist.)
    I cannot bring this one to mind. What's the source?

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