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A Shepherdess Spied upon in a Landscape

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A Shepherdess Spied upon in a Landscape Dated 1760

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
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.

Glossary Open


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  • Acc. No. NG 2493
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 127.00 x 101.50 cm (framed: 140.50 x 115.20 x 6.20 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1989