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Presented by the sitter to James Pillans, 1815.[1] Bequeathed to William Soltan Pillans, London.[2] (Anon. [=Miss Pillans] sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 1 July 1899, no. 100), bought by (Thos. Agnew & Sons), London, who sold it 1899 to Marcus Trevelyan Martin, London. Mrs. Marcus Trevelyan Martin, who sold it October 1921 to (M. Knoedler & Co.), London,[3] from whose New York branch it was purchased May 1922 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, by whom deeded December 1934 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA, 1937.

Exhibition History

Twenty Masterpieces of the English School, Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., 1899, no. 10.
Works by the Old Masters and Deceased Masters of the British School. Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1906, no. 57.
Franco-British Exhibition, Fine Art Palace, London, 1908, no. 58A.
Pictures by Raeburn, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1925, no. 3.

Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is twill woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, thinly applied. The painting is executed fluidly, ranging from thin, sketchy brushwork in the background to thick impasto in the highlights. There is a pentimento in the upper part of the right arm, which was once wider. The impasto has been flattened, and the weave of the canvas impressed into the paint surface, during lining. Extensive traction crackle in the sky and hair has been retouched. The thick natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.


Armstrong, Sir Walter. Sir Henry Raeburn. London, 1901: 111.
Greig, James. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.: His Life and His Works. London, 1911: 59.
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 161, no. 102.
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 241, repro. 17.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 119, repro.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 320, repro.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 106.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 94, repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 276, repro.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: no. 524, color repro.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 368, no. 522, color repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 322, repro.
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 202-203, repro. 203.

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