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Sir Ralph Abercromby, 1734 - 1801. General

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Sir Ralph Abercromby, 1734 - 1801. General

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
John Kay created quaint etched portraits of prosperous members of Georgian Edinburgh. Kay’s caricature portrait of Abercromby is a more light-hearted take on portraiture. This etching encapsulates the popular image of the General holding his eyeglass, which he used because of his short sight. In the distance are the tents of the camp. Kay has also included some rather Toblerone-like Pyramids in order to represent Alexandria in Egypt. The defeat of the French by the British at the Battle of Alexandria was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. Abercromby’s death while commanding this battle was described in Kay’s Volume as a "national calamity".


  • Acc. No. SP IV 1.10
  • Medium Etching on paper
  • Size 14.93 x 10.49 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by William Findlay Watson 1886