Talks & Lectures | Raeburn: Bicentenary Lecture

8 July 2023 marked the bicentenary of the death of Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), doyen of late 18th- and early 19th-century Scottish portraitists. Born in Stockbridge on the outskirts of Edinburgh, he was apprenticed to a local goldsmith James Gilliland (1721–1791) by 1772 and began experimenting with portrait miniatures. Despite lacking any formal artistic training he soon graduated to the full-scale oil portraiture with which his enduring reputation is still most closely associated. Having completed over 1000 canvases, he was knighted by George IV on the occasion of the royal visit to Edinburgh in 1822.

The National Galleries of Scotland holds the most comprehensive and internationally important collection of Raeburn’s work in all media. Based on original research, in this lecture Senior Curator Helen Smailes explores a special aspect of Raeburn’s artistic practice and the theme of commemoration.


Explore the work of Sir Henry Raeburn

Talks & lectures

Talks & lectures

23 January 2024