Allan Robertson, fl. 1847. Golf ball maker
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Allan Robertson, fl. 1847. Golf ball maker about 1847
  • Scottish Art
This is one of two full-length oil studies that Charles Lees completed in preparation for his iconic sporting painting, ‘The Golfers’. It shows Allan Robertson, a St Andrews golf ball maker. In the final painting Robertson appears in the same pose as he is shown here beside the Earl of Leven and Melville. Together they lean towards each other, perhaps conjecturing which way the match will go, yet they keep their eyes firmly fixed on the game. In 1846 Lees exhibited oil sketches of nine of the figures that appear in ‘The Golfers’ at the Royal Scottish Academy. It is most likely that this was one of them. Completed in 1847, the final painting features over fifty individual portraits.

Glossary Open

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Royal Scottish Academy

Details

  • Acc. No. PG 2020
  • Medium Oil on paper
  • Size 50.50 x 31.70 cm (framed: 66.99 x 53.97 cm)
  • Credit Provenance untraced