About this artwork

This is thought to be a highly worked compositional sketch for the most challenging work of Alexander’s entire career, a huge staircase ceiling decoration in oils on canvas commissioned for Gordon Castle near Fochabers by Alexander Gordon, 5th Marquess of Huntly and 2nd Duke of Gordon. Supposedly measuring twenty-two by twenty feet, the finished ceiling has long since disappeared, possibly in the 1760s or the 1770s during extensive alterations to the Castle. Painted between 1720 and 1725, it was the most ambitious Baroque ceiling in Scotland, for which the artist was paid eighty pounds.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    John AlexanderScottish (1686 - about 1766)
  • title:
    The Rape of Proserpine
  • date created:
    Dated 1720
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    71.10 x 80.70 cm; Framed: 90.60 x 100.10 x 8.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1932
  • accession number:
    NG 1784
  • gallery:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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John Alexander

John Alexander