Ramsay, Allan

self-portrait by allan ramsay Allan Ramsay’s father was the famous poet of the same name. While the son never rose to the prominence of the father, here we are over 200 years later discussing the son’s paintings.

Allan was born in Ediburgh, Scotland. He studied with the Swedish portrait painter Hans Hysing before leaving Scotland in 1736 for Rome and Naples where he studied under Francesco Solimena and Fransesco Fernandi.

Ramsay returned home in 1738. He painted portraits of many members of the aristocracy including several dukes, King George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1761, he became Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, a position he retained until his death in 1784. Portraits of the king were presented to ambassadors and colonial governors. Ramsay had to employ a number of assistants to keep up with the demand. After an injury to his right arm and the death of his second wife, he returned to Italy leaving behind 50 unfinished royal portraits.

Ramsay wrote a number of pieces designed to raise arguments against a number of topics relating to history, politics and criticism published under the title of the Investigator. He campaigned for the abolition of slavery. He also wrote a pamphlet about the month-long disappearance of Elizabeth Canning “which attracted much attention at the time, and was the means of opening the eyes of the public, and even of the judges, to the real truth and explanation of that mysterious event.” He believed the English maidservant invented an outlandish story of being abducted to hide a pregnancy.

Ramsay’s first wife, Anne Bayne, died in the 4th year of their marriage during the birth of their 3rd child. Neither of the other children survived past infancy. Margaret Lindsay, one of Ramsay’s drawing students, became his second wife in 1752. They had three children together and were married until the time of her death in 1782.

Lady Robert Manners

Mary Digges married General Lord Robert Manners (1721-1782), who was an English soldier and nobleman. Lady Robert Manners (c. 1727-1829) is the subject of this portrait by the Scottish artist Allan Ramsay (1713-1784). Lady Manners would have 5 children. Lord…
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Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is the subject of this portrait painted by the Scottish artist Allan Ramsay (1713-1784). He became the Principal Painter in Ordinary to King George III in 1761. This painting was completed in 1762. I can only…
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Portrait of Mary Atkins

This portrait of a fine lady was painted by famous English portrait artist Allan Ramsay (1713-1784). She is identified as Mrs. Mary Atkins Martin but we found no reference to who she was. The date of the painting, 1761, is…
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Portrait of Margaret Lindsay

Lovely portrait painted by the famous English portrait artist Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) of his second wife. Margaret was his student when they fell in love and eloped in 1752. Her father, Sir Alexander Lindsay of Evelick, never forgave her for…
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