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David Laing, 1793 - 1878. Antiquary 1862

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Laing was an expert on Scottish history, art and literature, and a great collector of manuscripts, rare books, drawings and historical portraits. Fettes Douglas has painted him in his study, avidly reading and surrounded by some of his beautiful possessions. Laing's ideas about the importance of historical portraits were important in the founding of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 1882. His collection of Old Master drawings forms the basis of the Scottish National Gallery's own holdings.

Glossary Open

Old Master

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

Old Master


  • Acc. No. PG 2041
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 25.50 x 63.50 cm (framed: 55.00 x 83.50 x 8.50 cm)
  • Credit Given to the Royal Scottish Academy by the artist 1862; presented to the National Gallery of Scotland by the RSA 1910 and transferred to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 1964