John Alexander

Mary Erskine, Countess of Kintore, 1714 - 1772. Wife of the 3rd Earl of Kintore

About this artwork

Mary, Countess of Kintore, was the eldest daughter of the famously troubled couple, Lord and Lady Grange. At the time this portrait was painted, Lady Grange had been kidnapped by her husband and imprisoned on the remote island of St Kilda. Mary, who had married the 3rd Earl in 1729, lived a more settled life at Keith Hall in Aberdeenshire. Her stylish, rather masculine, costume and powdered wig suggest she may be dressed for outdoor activity.

  • title:
    Mary Erskine, Countess of Kintore, 1714 - 1772. Wife of the 3rd Earl of Kintore
  • accession number:
    PGL 338
  • artist:
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1731
  • measurements:
    76.20 x 63.50 cm
  • credit line:
    On loan from the Kintore Trust
  • copyright:
    Reproduced courtesy of a private collection

John Alexander

John Alexander

John Alexander, son of an Aberdeen doctor, was the great-grandson of George Jamesone, the most famous Scottish painter of the seventeenth century. After some time in London, Alexander travelled to Italy in 1711 where he studied under Giuseppe Chiari and received commissions from the Stuart court in exile. When he returned to Scotland in 1720 he worked for the Duke of Gordon, a Catholic and a staunch Jacobite, and produced his most ambitious work, a ceiling painting for Gordon Castle. Most of his clients were from the north-east of Scotland and many were Jacobites. He took up arms for Prince Charles in the 1745 Rising and became a fugitive after Culloden but was back in Edinburgh working openly by 1748.