Exibition | Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 15, 2013

From The Hunterian:

Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment
The Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, 13 September 2013 — 5 January 2014

Allan Ramsay, "Lady Anne Campbell, Countess of Strafford, 1743 (Glasgow, The Hunterian)

Allan Ramsay, Lady Anne Campbell, Countess of Strafford, 1743 (Glasgow: The Hunterian)

In 2013 The Hunterian will stage a major new exhibition dedicated to one of Britain’s most accomplished 18th-century painters. Allan Ramsay (1713-1784) is best known as a portrait painter whose elegant style set him apart from other portraitists of the time. Born in Edinburgh, his career took him from a small Scottish clientele to the Hanoverian court of King George III. Away from his studio, Ramsay was in close contact with a number of influential figures, and his published writing includes works on taste, politics and archaeology. The exhibition centres on a selection of portraits from across Ramsay’s thirty years as a painter and also features drawings, watercolours, published books, pamphlets, letters and other materials which demonstrate Ramsay’s fascinating place in the intellectual and cultural life of Edinburgh, London, Paris and Rome in the mid 18th century. The exhibition also includes key loans from UK public and private collections and new research, examining the intellectual context in which Ramsay painted a number of his most important portraits, including that of Hunterian founder Dr William Hunter.

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From ArtBooks.com:

Mungo Campbell, ed., Allan Ramsay: Portraits of the Enlightenment (New York: Prestel, 2013), 200 pages, ISBN: 978-3791348780, $60.

coverAllan Ramsay’s accomplished canvases and refined drawings offer us some of the defining portraits of the Enlightenment. He was as well equipped to offer a deep sense of engagement with his Enlightenment sitters through his intellectual and cultural upbringing as he was trained to create elegantly constructed paintings through his extended education as a painter in Italy. Establishing himself in London and Edinburgh, Ramsay was admired for his understanding of contemporary political, cultural, and intellectual issues, as well as for his portraits of key protagonists in these debates. This beautiful volume brings together Ramsay’s most celebrated sitters, such as Rousseau, Hume, and William Hunter, along with numerous drawings and prints to consider his critical role in the British Enlightenment. Many of the artist’s rarely seen portraits of women are included. Alongside exquisite reproductions, the volume presents fascinating new research exploring the unique sensitivity of Ramsay’s
painting, the development of his technique, and
familial influences on his work.

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