About this artwork

Moray-born Francis Grant trained as a lawyer at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, between 1684 and 1687. He returned to Scotland where he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates and afterwards established a flourishing legal practice. In 1709 he was appointed Lord of Session – a judge in the Scottish Supreme Court – and took the title Lord Cullen. A devout Presbyterian and an outspoken unionist, Lord Cullen was also famous for his unclear and chaotic style of writing and pleading at the bar. This half-length portrait is one of John Smibert’s earliest surviving works. Lord Cullen wears the crimson robes and periwig of a Lord of Session. During the early 1700s, the fashion for periwigs reached its peak but by the 1750s only clergymen and judges continued to wear these long wigs.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Sir Francis Grant, Lord Cullen, 1658 - 1726. Judge
  • date created:
    About 1720
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    76.50 x 63.50 cm (framed: 91.50 x 78.50 x 6.80 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1949
  • accession number:
    PG 1521
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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John Smibert

John Smibert