About this artwork

When the young duke made his Grand Tour of Italy in the early 1760s, he commissioned several copies after the old masters by the Swiss artist Angelica Kauffmann, then living in Rome. Kauffmann moved to London in 1766 where she painted Gordon in fashionable ‘Van Dyck’ dress together with the companion picture of his wife, the Duchess of Gordon. In this portrait the duke holds a miniature of his wife, although they did not enjoy a happy marriage, eventually separating in 1793. Whereas his wife was interested in the cosmopolitan world of politics, the duke preferred rural pursuits such as hunting on his Aberdeenshire estates and breeding deerhounds and setters.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Angelica KauffmannSwiss (1741 - 1807)
  • title:
    Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon, 1743 - 1827. Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland
  • date created:
    Dated 1774
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    91.40 x 71.40 cm (framed: 108.00 x 86.50 x 5.30 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1989
  • accession number:
    PG 2787
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
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Angelica Kauffmann

Angelica Kauffmann