About this artwork

Tassie and Allan had been art students together at the Foulis Academy in Glasgow in the early 1760s. For a short while in the late 1770s they shared a house in London. Tassie invented a new medium, vitreous glass paste, which he used for making small portrait medallions and for making reproductions of antique gems and cameos. His products were sought by collectors all over the world, with Catherine the Great his most important patron.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    David AllanScottish (1744 - 1796)
  • title:
    James Tassie, 1735 - 1799. Sculptor and gem engraver
  • date created:
    About 1781
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    76.60 x 64.90 cm; Framed: 94.80 x 82.50 x 7.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by William Tassie to the National Gallery of Scotland; transferred to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 1898
  • accession number:
    PG 576
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
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David Allan

David Allan