About this artwork

This youthful portrait of Martin was painted in the early 1760s, possibly while he was still an assistant the London studio of his fellow Scotsman Allan Ramsay. He painted himself with clear skin, rosy cheeks and wavy ginger hair. His casual pose and loose collar have a friendly informality. Martin made a copy of this work and presented it to his master Allan Ramsay, therefore he presumably felt it was well executed and a true likeness. His career as an independent portrait painter flourished from the mid 1760s onwards, undoubtedly aided by a commission to paint Benjamin Franklin who was in London in 1767. Franklin was so impressed with the likeness, he had a replica made to take home to Philadelphia.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Self-portrait
  • date created:
    About 1760
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    49.50 x 39.40 cm (framed: 65.00 x 54.70 x 6.00cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Presented by the artist's relatives, the Misses Bryce, to the RSA; transferred and presented 1910
  • accession number:
    NG 569
  • gallery:
  • subject:
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

David Martin

David Martin