About this artwork

In this self-portrait, the young artist has shown himself much as he would one of his sitters. Aikman was the son and heir of an Angus laird but he sold his estates to fund his training as a painter. This confident image probably belongs to the period shortly after his return to Edinburgh after several years of study in London and Italy. No other artist in Scotland was able to match his European sophistication of style and he rapidly became the country's leading portrait painter.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    William Aikman, 1682 - 1731. Artist (Self-portrait)
  • date created:
    1711
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    75.90 x 63.00 cm (framed: 89.00 x 76.00 x 7.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by W.F. Watson 1886
  • accession number:
    PG 309
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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William Aikman

William Aikman