John Spottiswoode of Spottiswoode (1780-1866)

Henry Raeburncirca 1820

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Raeburn’s portraits evoke a romance that lies at the heart of the 19th-century image of Scottishness. Hence the figure of Spottiswoode is seen from a low viewpoint against a brooding, stormy sky. Yet this was a man of pragmatic enlightenment; his achievements ranged from the publishing of the ancient charters of Dryburgh Abbey to breeding the largest ox ever recorded. His literary inclinations were shared by his brothers who ran the publishing firm that became Eyre & Spottiswoode.


  • Title: John Spottiswoode of Spottiswoode (1780-1866)
  • Creator: Sir Henry Raeburn
  • Date Created: circa 1820
  • Physical Dimensions: 128.6 x 102.7 cm
  • Provenance: Sotheby's London, 14 Jun 1933, London/England Leggatt Bros., London, pre 1971, London/England, dates unknown William and Mary Farnsworth, 1971, Australia, Gift of William and Mary Farnsworth 1971
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gift of William and Mary Farnsworth 1971
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Not dated.
  • Artist Country: Scotland

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