About this artwork

William Adam was born near Kirkcaldy in Fife, and went on to become the most prolific and distinguished Scottish architect of the early eighteenth century. Particularly renowned for his design of country manors such as Hopetoun House and Duff House (the latter of which now displays part of the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection), William’s architectural legacy was eclipsed only by that of his son, Robert Adam. William purchased estates in Kinross-shire, which he renamed 'Blair Adam'. Portrayed here as the gentleman architect, it has been suggested that the artist may be English sculptor Henry Cheere due to the handling of the drapery and cravat.

Updated before 2020

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