About this artwork

Dated 1760, the painting is likely to have been completed shortly after Chalmers's return to his native Edinburgh following his trips to Italy and Minorca in the early to mid-1750s. By the mid-eighteenth century, it was common for the patron or patroness of a painting to pose in the guise of a shepherd or shepherdess. It was a popular alternative for both British and European aristocratic sitters wishing to break from the conventional norms of formal portraiture. In this painting the young shepherdess, with her seemingly individualised facial features, would appear to belong within this new idealising style of portraiture, while other elements of the composition suggest a distinctively Scottish and literary frame of reference.

  • title:
    A Shepherdess Spied upon in a Landscape
  • accession number:
    NG 2493
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    Dated 1760
  • measurements:
    127.00 x 101.50 cm (framed: 140.50 x 115.20 x 6.20 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1989
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Sir George Chalmers

Sir George Chalmers