Nicknamed ‘The Old Pretender’, James Francis Edward Stuart was son of the deposed king James II and VII.

The artist, Cosmo John Alexander, was the youngest member of a dynasty of Catholic painters in Aberdeen. At the time this portrait was painted, Alexander was on exile in Rome following the defeat of the Jacobite army at Culloden. The format of the work, a small-format painting on paper laid on to board, was designed to be concealed. Portraits of this nature were in demand in northern Scotland after the defeat of the uprising, allowing those in the Jacobite community to display their allegiances to the Stuart dynasty discreetly. While replicas of this type of portrait are common, this work is a rare Alexander original.


French Private Collection; Philip Mould Ltd. An Art Loss Register has been carried out.

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