About this artwork

A great preacher and social reformer, Thomas Chalmers was leader of the Evangelical Party at the Disruption. During the Disruption 70 Church of Scotland ministers resigned their livings and broke away to form the Free Church of Scotland. He later became Moderator of the Free Church and Principal of New College at the University of Edinburgh. He was described by Thomas Carlyle as 'a man of much natural dignity, ingenuity, honesty and kind affection, a man capable of impetuous activity and blazing audacity'.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Rev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformer
  • date created:
    About 1838
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    98.60 x 78.90 cm (framed: 131.50 x 112.50 x 8.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1928
  • accession number:
    PG 1094
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
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Sir John Watson Gordon

Sir John Watson Gordon

John Watson Gordon was training to become an army engineer when, encouraged by his uncle, the painter, George Watson, and Raeburn, who was a family friend, he decided to become an artist. His first works were subject pictures but, after Raeburn's death in 1823, he established himself as the leading portrait painter in Scotland. His style was at first closely based on Raeburn but was later more influenced by his admiration for Velázquez. In 1850 he was elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy, appointed Queen's Limner for Scotland and knighted.