Portraits after Henry Raeburn

Portrait of Sophie as Margaritta
Portrait of Sophie as Margaritta
Margaritta MacDonald, by Sir Henry Raeburn
Margaritta MacDonald, by Sir Henry Raeburn

I recently completed a series of portraits based on three portraits painted by Sir Henry Raeburn at the end of the C18. Raeburn was at the time the foremost portrait painted in Scotland and as such was in high demand to paint the leading figures in Scottish society. He is generally believed to be a better painter of men than women and certainly on e of the things which drew me to the three female portraits I selected was their commonality of style and approach. The portraits feature Margaritta MacDonald, Lady Colville and Mrs George Bell.

For my portraits I chose to use a single model, and wanted to create a contemporary portrait but which reflected the style and feel of the Raeburn originals. One way I sought to achieve this was to use natural light alone for all the pictures. This added considerably to the challenge as the light varied significantly through the course of the day. I have included here three of the finished portraits, together with the Raeburn originals. I posted an earlier version of one of these a few days ago.

These portraits would not have been possible without the help of three people: Rebecca Dennis who assisted throughout; Sophie Page who modelled; and Natalie who did hair and make up. Many thanks to the three of them.

Portrait of Sophie as Mrs George Bell
Portrait of Sophie as Mrs George Bell
Mrs George Bell, by Sir Henry Raeburn
Mrs George Bell, by Sir Henry Raeburn
Portrait of Sophie as Lady Colville ©James Hall
Portrait of Sophie as Lady Colville ©James Hall
Lady Colville, by Sir Henry Raeburn
Lady Colville, by Sir Henry Raeburn
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