Sir Henry Raeburn

Scottish (1756 - 1823)
Sir Henry Raeburn Self-portrait Probably painted shortly before or in 1815

Biography

Born 1756
Died 1823
Nationality Scottish
Birth place Edinburgh
Death place Edinburgh

Originally apprenticed to a goldsmith, Henry Raeburn showed enormous artistic talent as a young man. In 1784 he moved to London where he met the important portrait painter Joshua Reynolds. He spent some time in Italy but returned to Edinburgh in 1787 where he began painting portraits of the rich, famous and important people of his day. He was in constant demand and received many honours: in 1822 he was knighted when the King visited Edinburgh. Sir Henry Raeburn died a year later.

Glossary terms

  • Term used to denote painters from the Renaissance until 1800, or their works.

  • Oil paint is a mixture of pigment particles suspended in a drying oil. When exposed to air, it slowly dries, forming a tough, coloured film. The slow drying property of the paint is advantageous to artists as it allows them to work up a painting gradually, making corrections as they go. Oil paint can also be thinned and blended with each other to create subtle variations of colour, light and shadow.

Exhibitions

Exhibition finished
The Age of Improvement
Portrait
Permanent
Seventeenth - Nineteenth Century Scottish Art
National