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Raeburn   By: (1864-1950)

Raeburn by J. L. (James Lewis) Caw

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

MASTERPIECES IN COLOUR EDITED BY T. LEMAN HARE

RAEBURN

1756 1823

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PLATE I. LORD NEWTON (Frontispiece).

(National Gallery of Scotland.)

This chef d'oeuvre, which dates from about 1807, represents one of the most celebrated characters who ever sat upon the bench of the Court of Session. Famous in his day for "law, paunch, whist, claret, and worth," the exploits of Charles Hay, "The Mighty," as he was called, have become traditions of the Parliament House. (See p. 79.)

[Illustration: Plate I.]

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RAEBURN

BY JAMES L. CAW

ILLUSTRATED WITH EIGHT

REPRODUCTIONS IN COLOUR

[Illustration: Title page art]

LONDON: T. C. & E. C. JACK

NEW YORK: FREDERICK A. STOKES CO.

1909

CONTENTS

Introduction Chapter I. " II. " III. " IV. " V. " VI.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Plate

I. Lord Newton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece (National Gallery of Scotland)

II. Children of Mr and the Hon. Mrs Paterson of Castle Huntly (In the possession of Chas. J. G. Paterson, Esq.)

III. Mrs Lauzun (National Gallery, London)

IV. Mrs Campbell of Balliemore (National Gallery of Scotland)

V. Professor Robison (University of Edinburgh)

VI. John Tait of Harvieston and his Grandson (In the possession of Mrs Pitman)

VII. Miss de Vismes (In the possession of the Earl of Mansfield)

VIII. Mrs Scott Moncrieff (National Gallery of Scotland)

[Illustration: Raeburn]

When in 1810, Henry Raeburn, then at the height of his powers, proposed to settle in London, Lawrence dissuaded him. It is unnecessary, as it would be unjust, to insinuate that the future President of the Royal Academy had ulterior and personal motives in urging him to rest content with his supremacy in the North. Raeburn was fifty five at the time, and, after his undisputed reign at home, even his generous nature might have taken ill with the competition inseparable from such a venture. Lawrence's advice was wise in many ways, and Raeburn, secure in the admiration and constant patronage of his countrymen, lived his life to the end unvexed by the petty jealousy of inferior rivals. Nor was recognition confined to Scotland. Ultimately he was elected a member of the Royal Academy, an honour all the more valued because unsolicited. Yet, had the courtly Lawrence but known, acceptance of his advice kept a greater than himself from London, and, it may be, prevented the perpetuation and further development of that tradition of noble portraiture of which Raeburn, with personal modifications, was such a master. For long also it confined the Scottish painter's reputation to his own country. Forty years after his death, his art was so little known in England that the Redgraves, in their admirable history of English painting, relegated him to a chapter headed "The Contemporaries of Lawrence." Time brings its revenges, however, and of late years Raeburn has taken a place in the very front rank of British painters. And, if this recognition has been given tardily by English critics, the reason is to be found in want of acquaintance with his work. He had lived and painted solely in Scotland, and Scottish art, like foreign art, so long as it remains at home, has little interest for London, which, sure of its attractive power, sits arrogantly still till art is brought to it. But Raeburn's work possesses that inherent power, which, seen by comprehending eyes, compels admiration. The Raeburn exhibition held in Edinburgh in 1876 was quite local in its influence, but from time to time since then, at "The Old Masters" and elsewhere, admirable examples have been shown in London; and recent loan collections in Glasgow and Edinburgh, wherein his achievement was very fully illustrated, were seen by large and cosmopolitan audiences... Continue reading book >>




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