National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of David Anderson Sir Henry Raeburn (artist)
Scottish, 1756 - 1823
David Anderson, 1790
oil on canvas
overall: 152.5 x 107.5 cm (60 1/16 x 42 5/16 in.)
Widener Collection
Not on View
From the Tour: Britain's Royal Academy of Art in the Late 1700s and Early 1800s
Object 5 of 8


Painted for Warren Hastings [1732-1818], Daylesford House, Gloucestershire, probably upon whose death it was returned to the sitter;[1] by descent to Captain David Anderson [1867-1944], Bourhouse, Dunbar, East Lothian [Scotland].[2] (Dott & Co., Edinburgh); sold 1900 to (P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London); purchased October 1903 by Dr. Eissler [possibly Dr. Gottfried or Hermann Eissler, Vienna].[3] Purchased c. 1924 by Joseph E. Widener, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania; inheritance from Estate of Peter A.B. Widener by gift through power of appointment of Joseph E. Widener, after purchase by funds of the Estate; gift 1942 to NGA.

[1] David Anderson (1750-1825), of St. Germains, near Tranent, East Lothian, served in India with Warren Hastings, the first governor-general. The two became lifelong friends, and when they returned to England in 1785 they agreed to exchange portraits of each other. Anderson wrote to Hastings on 7 July 1790 that he had begun sitting to Raeburn (British Library Add. MS. 45,418:fol. 375). According to Kathleen Bliss, London, who was married to a direct descendant of David Anderson, the Raeburn portrait was returned to David Anderson either after Warren Hastings' impeachment trial, which lasted from 1784 to 1795, or after Hastings' death (Mrs. Bliss to John Walker, 16 April 1947, in NGA curatorial files).

Hastings, in turn, had originally wanted Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint his portrait, but eventually commissioned Lemuel Abbot and sent the finished painting to Anderson in early 1797. Although John Hayes (in British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue, Cambridge, England, 1992: 194) writes that the original Abbot portrait is now in the Victoria Memorial Museum in Calcutta, this is not the case. Abbot's first portrait of Hastings has remained in the possession of Anderson's descendants, and in 2003 was owned by David Anderson's great-great-great-granddaughter, Margaret Elizabeth Anderson Aynscough (Mrs. James Vernon Aynscough). The painting in Calcutta is one of at least eight copies made by Abbot after the original version, and Hastings also distributed copies by other artists (see correspondence in 2003 with Stephen Aynscough, in NGA curatorial files).

[2] The provenance from Captain Anderson to Dr. Eissler is recorded in James Greig, Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A., (London, 1911), 37.

[3] Colnaghi's stock books (Roderic Thesiger, letter, 23 September 1969, in NGA curatorial files). The painting was not included in the Gottfreid Eissler's May 1925 estate sale. There was a sale of the Eissler collection at Pisko in Vienna in March 1908 which included a Raeburn, but it has not been identified.

Associated Names

Full Screen Image
Artist Information
Conservation Notes

«back to gallery»continue tour