About this artwork

Halkett and his second wife Mary are shown with his daughter by his first wife, and his thirteen younger children, whose names are provided by Allan in a key on the back of the canvas. The Halketts are posing in the grounds of their Fifeshire seat at Pitfirrane House – now the premises of the Dunfermline Golf Club – against a background vista of the town of Dunfermline. Completed in 1781, this painting is one of the first examples of the elaborate type of group portrait or ‘conversation piece’ which Allan pioneered in Scotland after his permanent return from Italy and London in 1780.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    David AllanScottish (1744 - 1796)
  • title:
    Sir John Halkett of Pitfirrane, 4th Bart (1720 - 1793), Mary Hamilton, Lady Halkett and their Family
  • date created:
    Dated 1781
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    153.00 x 239.50 cm (framed: 165.00 x 251.50 x 7.40 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequest of Miss Madeline Halkett of Pitfirrane 1951
  • accession number:
    NG 2157
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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David Allan

David Allan