Hay MacDowell (1759-1809) General

Henry Macbeth-Raeburn (1860 - 1947)
Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 - 1823)

Colour mezzotint

4 September 1928

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  • About the artist
    Henry Macbeth-Raeburn, painter and engraver, was the son of the portrait painter Norman Macbeth (1821-1888). His siblings included the painters Norman (1821-1888) and James (1847-1891), and Allan Macbeth (1856-1910), a noted organist, choirmaster and principal of the Glasgow College of Music. Henry added Raeburn to his name to distinguish himself from the other painters in his family. He began his career in Edinburgh, but later moved to London. He exhibited 17 works at the Royal Academy, 4 at the New Water-Colour Society and one at the Royal Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street, London.
    Henry Raeburn was born in the village of Stockbridge (now within Edinburgh), where his parents ran a yarn-boiling business. However, by the age of eight he was orphaned and residing at a charity school. He was later apprenticed to a goldsmith and during this time began painting full-scale portraits. His marriage (c.1780) to Ann Leslie, a wealthy widow, allowed him to study in Rome (c.1784-87). Despite success, he became insolvent in 1808 as a result of failed investments and remained in debt for the rest of his life. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1792 and was elected a member in 1815. He was knighted in 1822 and appointed ‘limner and painter in Scotland’ to the king in 1823. However, he died in the same year, aged 67.
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    Hay MacDowell (1759-1809) General
    4 September 1928
    Colour mezzotint
    Purchased from Vicars Bros., June 1957
    left below lettering, in pencil: H. Macbeth-Raeburn [unreadable monogram]
    GAC number