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George Jamesone, 1589 / 1590 - 1644. Portrait painter (Self-portrait) About 1642

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Jamesone's self-portrait reflects his professional success and status. He holds his palette and brushes while pointing to paintings, mainly portraits, on the wall behind. These include a landscape and seascape, and a large mythological painting identified as the 'Chastisement of Cupid'. Although Jamesone is not known to have painted such subjects, they do not seem to represent the work of another artist, and may be understood in relation to the still-life objects below. The hour glass, suit of armour and skull symbolise the transience of life. The implication may be that the painter (and his patrons) will live on through his work.

Glossary Open


Refers to figures and events from myths which are the ancient stories that usually explain the origins of historical or natural phenomena.


A hand-held board on which a painter lays out and mixes the colours he or she is using. By extension it is used to describe the range of colours employed by an artist.


The support given to artists by an individual or organisation, usually through buying or funding their work.

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.


The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Mythological, Palette , Patronage , Still life, Symbolism


  • Acc. No. PG 2361
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 72.00 x 87.40 cm (framed: 93.98 x 109.22 x 13.97 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1976