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Mrs. Johnston of Straiton

ca. 1800
35 x 27 in. (88.9 x 68.6 cm)

Sir Henry Raeburn
Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1756 – 1823, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: George Eastman Collection of the University of Rochester
Accession Number: 1978.6
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Location: Not currently on view
Collection: George Eastman Collection

Henry Raeburn was almost exclusively a painter of portraits. The demand for his work was great enough to sustain a career in Scotland, and his commissions came primarily from the members of high society in and around the growing city of Edinburgh. Raeburn’s portraits are known for their naturalness and sensitivity to the sitter. They often take the form seen here, with a seated three-quarter length figure pictured in a landscape, painted as if seen from below.

This portrait is of a young noblewoman, Mary Johnston, the wife of James Johnston and the daughter of William Baillie, Lord Polkemmet, a Scottish judge whose portrait Raeburn had also painted.

[Forman Gallery, Summer 2015]

Sir William Baillie, Lord Polkemmet (1736-1814), Edinburgh; by descent to his family; sold by them through Knoedler and Co. (dealers) [jointly owned with Colnaghi], London, August 1911; purchased from Knoedler and Co. in New York by George Eastman, Rochester NY, May 1912; his bequest to the University of Rochester, 1932; transferred to the Gallery in 1978

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