Henry Raeburn Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
3-4-1756 Stockbridge, SCO - 7-8-1823 Edinburgh, SCOBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Henry Raeburn was originally apprenticed to a goldsmith at the age of fifteen but began painting portrait miniatures and soon expanded to full-scale oil painting, though entirely self-taught, he had gained sufficient skill to make him decide to devote himself exclusively to painting. After marrying one of his sitters, a wealthy widow, he was enabled to travel to Italy to study for two years, mainly under Pompeo Batoni.
He returned to Edinburgh in 1787 and established himself as the most fashionable portraitist of his generation. Unlike Ramsay, Henry Raeburn spent most of his life in Edinburgh and seldom visited London. He became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1815. in 1823 he was appointed His Majesty's Limner for Scotland and was knighted the same year.
Although his contemporaries judged him less successful in his female subjects, Henry Raeburn's portraits of both men and women are full of vigor and liveliness and had a profound influence on the development of Scottish art in the nineteenth century.
Henry Raeburn was unusual amongst many of his contemporaries, such as Reynolds, in the extent of his philosophy of painting directly from life; he made no preliminary sketches.