About this artwork

Sir George Mackenzie was widely regarded by his contemporaries as “the brightest man in the nation”. Born in Dundee, he went to study at Aberdeen’s King’s College in 1650, followed by The University of St Andrews, graduating in 1653. He then travelled to France and read law at The University of Bourges, graduating in 1658. After returning to Scotland, Mackenzie was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates and went on to become Lord Advocate in 1677. He gave the inaugural speech at the formal opening of the Advocates' Library in 1689. This highlights his interest in literature - he published many books, ranging from imaginative tales to moral philosophy and political theory. This portrait shows Mackenzie in a fashionable wig, similar to those worn by Charles II during his reign.

Updated before 2020

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