Allan Ramsay Biography | Oil Paintings
10-13-1713 Edinburgh, SCO - 8-10-1784 Dover, ENGBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Allan Ramsay (the artist) was sent to London at the age of twenty to study under the Swedish painter Hans Hysing and at the St. Martin's Lane Academy. In 1736 he went to Rome and Naples, where he worked for three years under the Baroque artists Francesco Solimena and Francesco Fernandi.
On his return to Edinburgh, Scotland in 1738, he attracted attention by his oil painting of Duncan Forbes of Culloden and his full-length portrait of the Duke of Argyll, later used on Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes. In 1739 he married his first wife.
Allan Ramsay later moved to London, where he was employed to paint by the Duke of Bridgewater. popular. His only serious competitor at the time was Thomas Hudson, who both used the same drapery painter, Joseph van Aken.
He eloped with one of his drawing students Margaret Lindsay, and in 1752 they married, her father never pardoned her for marrying a painter. Ramsay already had to maintain a daughter from his previous marriage and his two surviving sisters but told her father that he could provide Margaret with an annual income of £100 (equal to US$15,000 today).
Allan Ramsay and his new wife toured Italy, going to Rome, Florence, Naples, and Tivoli, between 1754–1757, researching, painting and drawing old masters, antiquities, and archaeological sites. He also earned income painting portraits of rich tourists on The Grand Tour. After their return, Ramsay in 1761 was appointed to succeed John Shackelton as Principal Painter in Ordinary to King George III, the king commissioned so many royal portraits to be given to ambassadors and colonial governors, that Ramsay needed the services of numerous assistants to complete the painting details, David Martin and Philip Reinagle are his most famous assistants.
Allan Ramsay gave up painting in about 1770 to concentrate on literary pursuits. His health was shattered by an accidental dislocation of his painting arm and the death of his second wife in 1782. With unflinching tenacity, he struggled until he had completed his last portrait of the king, and then left for Italy, leaving 50 royal portraits to be completed by his assistant Philip Reinagle.
Art Movement: NeoClassicism.
Artists Influencing Allan Ramsay: Hans Huyssing, Francesco Solimena, Francesco Fernandi.
He Traveled To England, Italy.
Painters Allan Ramsay Influenced: Margaret Lindsay.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.