David Allan

Scottish (1744 - 1796)
David Allan Sir John Halkett of Pitfirrane, 4th Bart (1720 - 1793), Mary Hamilton, Lady Halkett and their Family Dated 1781


Born 1744
Died 1796
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Alloa
Death place Edinburgh

Allan was born in Alloa, on the Firth of Forth, and attended the Foulis Academy in Glasgow for seven years. In 1767 he moved to Rome, where he lived for ten years; this was the most successful period of his life. In Rome, Allan painted ambitious historical pictures, portraits, caricatures and genre scenes. On returning to London in 1777, he spent two years trying to establish himself. Unsuccessful and ill, he returned to Scotland where he specialised in painting family groups. He also produced book illustrations and was appointed the master of the Trustees' Academy at Edinburgh.

Glossary terms

  • Paintings in which the subject is taken from biblical, classical or other mythological histories.