About this artwork

Ion Keith-Falconer was the third son of the 8th Earl of Kintore.  This portrait shows him in his University of Cambridge vest as The Champion Cyclist of Great Britain: ‘unbeatable over short and fifty mile distances racing against amateur and professionals’.  His bicycling successes from 1874 to 1882 were numerous.   On 5 June 1881, he made an unprecedented tour from Land’s End to John O’ Groats (994 miles), on his penny-farthing, in a time just short of thirteen days. Keith-Falconer also undertook missionary work in Cambridge and East London before moving to Aden with his wife to carry out missionary work for the Church of Scotland. He died of malaria in 1887; this portrait was displayed at his memorial service in London.