About this artwork

This painting shows John Forbes, the younger son of Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo who was a prominent Scottish banker and patron of the arts. The boy is shown in an affectionate pose with a black and white spotted dog, possibly a Dalmatian Pointer cross, and presumably a family pet as it wears a padlocked metal collar. John would have been about eight years old when this was painted, and Raeburn has masterfully captured his childish playfulness. John grew up to become a significant figure in society. He was an advocate and was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1809, Raeburn had painted a similar portrait of John’s elder brother William (1802-1826), which is also in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland. Sadly, William died in Malta in 1826, so the family estate and title passed to John.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
  • title:
    John Stuart Hepburn Forbes, later 8th Baronet of Monymusk, and of Fettercairn and Pitsligo, 1804 - 1866
  • date created:
    About 1809 - 1813
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    133.90 x 108.60 cm (base size); 167.00 x 142.80 cm (framed size)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by HM Government from the Forbes of Pitsligo Collection, and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland ,2018
  • accession number:
    NG 2883
  • gallery:
  • subject:
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Sir Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn