SIR HENRY RAEBURN,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The Drummond Children by SIR HENRY RAEBURN {English School}

The Drummond Children by SIR HENRY RAEBURN {English School}

The Drummond Children


OCCASIONALLY, in the history of painting, a man appears whose life is distin­
guished by the absence of temperament and color, whose art is notable for
the symmetrical completeness of its development. Raeburn was a man of this
stamp, the only Scottish painter of the first rank, and in his shrewdness and
practicality as thoroughgoing a Scot as ever lived.

In the beginning, he was a
jeweler’s apprentice and a painter of miniatures; at the age of twenty-two he
cannily married a woman of wealth and his financial difficulties were ended.
With the exception of a tour in Italy where, on the advice of Reynolds, he
studied Michelangelo, and three brief visits in London, he lived in Edinburgh
as a Scottish gentleman, and painted with the regularity of a day laborer.

A  more composed and successful painter never plied his trade-and success did
not turn his head; and after the transition from his early square brush-strokes
to a more compact modeling, his style was so uniformly vigorous and com­
petent that it is impossible, without external evidence, to ascertain the dates
of his canvases. He painted the important families of Edinburgh and all the
celebrities, Robert Burns excepted.


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From first to last, Raeburn was a self-contained artist: how other painters
gained their effects did not interest him, and his improvement was largely a
matter of practice and vigilant observation before his sitters. He was essen­
tiallya portrait painter, and his one expressed ambition was to paint a man
“in his habit as he lived.”

With this in mind, he was a student of local back­
grounds, costumes, animals, and accessories in keeping with the character of
his subjects. He painted the Fergusons, the Campbells, the Mackenzies, and
the MacNabs-sturdy Gaelic folk whose racial traits and features leave no
one in doubt. Raeburn’s imagination was excited by no great passions or sor­
rows, hut the charge that he was lacking in warmth and affection is answered
by The Drummond Cluldren.

The painting is without sentimentality and fanci­
ful artifices; but it has the force and attraction of a living representation, and
the charm of children rendered with reserved and affectionate penetration­
it is an unflinching record of childhood that has not grown old-fashioned with
the years.



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