Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment
13 September 2013 – 5 January 2014
Regarded as one of Britain's most accomplished 18th century artists, this exhibition focuses on the portrait paintings for which Allan Ramsay is best known.
Born in Edinburgh in 1713, Ramsay's career took him from a small Scottish clientele to the Hanoverian court of King George III.
His distinctive approach to portrait painting set him apart from other artists working at the time and was noted for its elegant style.
The exhibition centres on portraits from across Ramsay’s 30-year career and also features a selection of drawings and watercolours.
Away from his studio, Ramsay befriended a number of influential figures and began writing on matters such as taste, politics and archaeology.
As such, the display will also include published books, pamphlets, letters and other materials which demonstrate his place in the cultural life of Edinburgh, London, Paris and Rome in the mid 18th century.
The exhibition includes new research examining the intellectual context in which Ramsay painted a number of his most important portraits, including that of Hunterian founder, Dr William Hunter.