About this artwork

Archibald Napier, the son of the famous mathematician John Napier of Merchiston, was a distant cousin of Sir Colin Campbell who commissioned this portrait from Jamesone. Napier was appointed to various prestigious positions, including Privy Councillor, Treasurer-Depute and Lord of Session, which brought him money and power but also enemies amongst the court factions. He lost royal favour when Charles I, realising Napier was unable to work with many of his Scottish colleagues, forced him to resign his posts. Jamesone painted this portrait and that of William Graham on separate canvases, but they are now joined together in their early nineteenth-century frame. They were painted for Glenorchy’s series of portraits of friends and family.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    George JamesoneScottish (1589 / 1590 - 1644)
  • title:
    Sir Archibald Napier, 1st Lord Napier, 1576 - 1645. Extraordinary Lord of Session
  • date created:
    Dated 1637
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    106.70 x 128.30 cm (framed: 112.00 x 133.00 x 4.50 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1956
  • accession number:
    PG 1833
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
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George Jamesone

George Jamesone