Allan Ramsay

Mrs. Lindesay of Eaglescarnie

Ramsay specialized as a portraitist. He was particularly favoured by his fellow Scots, and worked in both London and Edinburgh. His contemporaries valued both display and reticence, exemplified here by the rich, broadly painted silks of her dress, which contrast with her reserved character and enigmatic smile, appropriate for a woman of status. Typically, sitter and painter decided on the pose and clothing together, perhaps using prints or drawings of models for reference. "Phizmongers" (face sellers) such as Ramsay painted heads and generally relied upon specialist drapery painters or assistants for the rest. Frame: carved wood, gilded and tooled. Britain, mid-18th century after a French model

label on verso: Arthur Tooth & Sons, No. A 2062

Lord Basing, UK [1]

by 1932/10/12 – still in 1933
E. Parsons & Sons, London, UK [2]

Unidentified dealer, London

– 1947/11/08
Tooth & Sons, London, purchased from an unidentified dealer [3]

1947/11/08 – 1972/09/15
James Kenneth Weir, 2nd Viscount Weir (1905–1975), Montgreenan, Scotland, UK, purchased from Tooth & Sons [4]

1972/09/15 –
National Gallery of Canada, presented by The Rt. Hon. Viscount Weir in memory of his wife, née Lucy Crowdy, of Ottawa [5]

[1] T.S. Bathurst of the London art dealership Tooth & Sons mentions Lord Basing as a former owner of the painting [letter to NGC Curator Myron Laskin Jr., dated Jan. 18, 1973, NGC curatorial file].

[2] The painting was included in the “Art treasures exhibition“, Christie's London, Oct. 12 to Nov. 5, 1932 as cat. no. 1352. The catalogue lists the London art dealer E. Parsons & Sons as owner. Parsons & Sons ran an advertisement featuring a photo of the painting in the 54th annual issue of “The Year's Art.” London 1933, p. 25.

[3] See note [1] and [4]. Bathurst mentions that Tooth & Sons acquired the work from a London dealer, but does not disclose his name or the date of transaction.

[4] According to T.S. Bathurst [see note 1 and 3] Viscount Weir purchased the painting on November 8, 1947 from Tooth & Sons, London.

[5] Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].

Mrs. Lindesay of Eaglescarnie
oil on canvas
76.2 x 63.5 cm with oval image
Credit line
Gift of the 2nd Viscount Weir, 1972, in memory of his wife, née Lucy Crowdy of Ottawa
Accession number