Allan Ramsay Scotland
10-13-1713 Edinburgh, SCO - 8-10-1784 Dover, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Allan Ramsay from the age of twenty he studied in London under the Swedish painter Hans Hysing, and at the St. Martin's Lane Academy; leaving in 1736 for Rome and Naples, where he worked for three years under Francesco Solimena and Francesco Fernandi.
On his return in 1738 to the British Isles, he first settled in Edinburgh, attracting attention by his head of Duncan Forbes of Culloden and his full-length portrait of the Duke of Argyll, later used on Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes.
Allan Ramsay later moved to London, where he was employed by the Duke of Bridgewater. His pleasant manners and varied culture, not less than his artistic skill, contributed to render him popular. His only serious competitor was Thomas Hudson, with whom he shared a drapery painter, Joseph van Aken.
One of his drawing pupils was Margaret Lindsay, he later eloped with her and on 1 March 1752 they married; her father never forgave her for marrying an artist. Ramsay already had to maintain a daughter from his previous marriage and his two surviving sisters, but told Sir Alexander that he could provide Margaret with an annual income of £100.
Allan Ramsay and his new wife spent 1754–1757 together in Italy, going to Rome, Florence, Naples and Tivoli, researching, painting and drawing old masters, antiquities and archaeological sites. He also earned income painting Grand Tourists' portraits. After their return, Ramsay in 1761 was appointed to succeed John Shackelton as Principal Painter in Ordinary to George III, the king commissioned so many royal portraits to be given to ambassadors and colonial governors, that Ramsay used the services of numerous assistants—of whom David Martin and Philip Reinagle are the best known.
Allan Ramsay gave up painting in about 1770 to concentrate on literary pursuits. His healthy was shattered by an accidental dislocation of the right arm and his second wife's death in 1782. With unflinching pertinacity, he struggled until he had completed a likeness of the king upon which he was engaged at the time, and then started for his beloved Italy. He left a series of 50 royal portraits to be completed by his assistant Reinagle.
Art Movement: Vitorian Classicism
Influences: Hans Huyssing, Francesco Solimena, Francesco Fernandi
Traveled: England, Italy
Influenced: Margaret Lindsay