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Colonel Alastair Ranaldson Macdonell of Glengarry (1771 - 1828) exhibited 1812


  • Scottish Art
Wearing tartan from head to toe, Macdonell of Glengarry seems, in this portrait, to be the perfect image of a highland chief. However, Macdonell's romantic attachment to the customs and costumes of Gaelic culture did not stop him evicting his tenants to clear his lands for sheep farming. The writer Sir Walter Scott was a close friend, and he was probably thinking of Macdonell when he created the character of the doomed Jacobite clan chieftain, Fergus McIvor, in his novel Waverley.

Glossary Open


Jacobitism was a movement to restore the descendants of the Stuart King James VII and II to the British throne. The first claimant, Prince James Francis Edward (known as 'the Old Pretender') was exiled first in France, then Italy, from where he planned unsuccessful attempts to claim the throne. His son Prince Charles Edward (known as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' or 'the Young Pretender') famously invaded Britain in 1745, but after some military successes was finally defeated at Culloden in 1746.



  • Acc. No. NG 420
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 241.90 x 151.10 cm (framed: 272.42 x 182.88 x 12.70 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1917