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Archibald Skirving by George Watson | by east_lothian_museums
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Archibald Skirving by George Watson

Archibald Skirving (1749-1819) was born at Athelstaneford near Haddington. He became a noted painter of miniatures but, after a long stay in Italy (1786-c97), concentrated almost entirely on pastels. Able to command a fee greater than Raeburn in his lifetime, he is best known for a pastel portrait of Robert Burns.


An oil painting on canvas in a gilt wood and plaster frame. The subject is a head and shoulder view of a gray haired man wearing a topcoat, waistcoat and white shirt with a high collar. The subject is Archibald Skirving and the artist was George Watson.


George Watson (1767-1837) was born in Berwickshire and studied in London under Reynolds. He returned to Scotland and set up as a portrait painter, becoming the first president of the Society of Scottish Artists and the first president of the inaugural founders of the Royal Scottish Academy. Many of his best portraits are in public collections.


Accession number - 1998.79

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Taken on March 11, 2009