• Portrait of Alexander Mitchell of Stow, Midlothian -
    Price on request

    Half-length, in painted frame

    Signed on painted frame lower left: J Russell R.A. pinx.t/1790

    Pastel

    60 by 44.5 cm., 23 by 17 in.

     

    Provenance:

    By descent from the sitter to Fanny Georgina Jane Mitchell (d.1917);

    Her second husband, Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay (1839-1921);

    Given to his godson Captain Hubert Charles Poulet Hamilton of Moyne House, near Durrow, Co. Laios, Ireland (1915-2007);

    By descent until 2017

     

    Born in Guildford, the son of a bookseller, Russell was the pre-eminent portrait painter in pastel of the late eighteenth century. He studied under Francis Cotes, R.A. in about 1767 and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1770. He exhibited 329 pictures at the Royal Academy and at the height of his fame he charged 30 guineas for head portrait and 150 for large full-lengths, similar to the President of the Royal Academy, Sir Joshua Reynolds. The present portrait dates from 1790, when he was at the heights of his powers and had just been appointed Painter to the King. 

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