About this artwork

This portrait of the artist's daughter Mrs Wiseman is an entrancing study of reflected light. The inspiration for the pose and the lighting effect may have been Reynolds' portrait of the actress Nelly O'Brien (Wallace Collection, London) which was shown in 1857 at the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition. The Scottish National Gallery also has MacNee’s highly-worked preparatory oil sketch for this painting (NG 2254).

  • title: A Lady in Grey
  • accession number: NG 1679
  • artist: Sir Daniel MacneeScottish (1806 - 1882)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: Dated 1859
  • measurements: 128.00 x 102.50 cm (framed: 158.00 x 132.70 x 11.00 cm)
  • credit line: Presented by Lady Macnee 1927
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir Daniel Macnee

Sir Daniel Macnee

Sir Daniel Macnee was a leading Scottish portrait painter. Born at Fintry, he was brought up in Glasgow where he became a pupil of portraitist and landscapist John Knox. There, he met fellow artists Horatio McCulloch and William Leitch. Macnee and McCulloch briefly worked as snuff-boxes painters at Cumnock, before moving to Edinburgh and into the employment of the engraver W.H. Lizars. Meanwhile Macnee continued his studies at the Trustees’ Academy and in 1829 was admitted to the Royal Scottish Academy. He returned to Glasgow, where he established a flourishing portrait studio. His sitters included wealthy merchants, pioneering industrialists, aristocrats and even Queen Victoria. In 1876 he returned to Edinburgh, was elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy and was knighted.

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