About this artwork

Born at Dalhousie Castle, Lord Dalhousie became, in 1847, the youngest Governor-General of India. He was also one of the most successful. He held this office until 1856. During his term of office, large territories were conquered and annexed, he was responsible for the vast expansion of the Indian road, railway, canal irrigation and telegraph services. He was strongly opposed to the slave trade and suttee (the practice of a Hindu’s widow cremating herself on her husband’s funeral pyre). His policies caused resentment and were, in part, responsible for the Indian Mutiny of 1857. This oil sketch by Watson Gordon's oil sketch served as a model for three full-length portraits of the sitter.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    James Andrew Ramsay, 10th Earl and 1st Marquess of Dalhousie, 1812 - 1860. Governor-General of India
  • date created:
    About 1859
  • materials:
    Oil on millboard
  • measurements:
    59.70 x 38.70 cm (framed: 83.90 x 63.20 x 8.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1929
  • accession number:
    PG 1119
  • 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.