David Scougall

Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, 1598 - 1661. Statesman (About 1661)

About this artwork

The artist has made no attempt to disguise the squint which earned the sitter the Gaelic nickname 'Gillespie Gruamach' and gave him a somewhat sinister appearance. His own father described him as 'a man of craft, subtlety and falsehood'. Argyll became the leader of the Covenanting party and supported Charles I's parliamentary enemies. However, he opposed the execution of the king and it was he who crowned the young Charles II at Scone in 1651. He continued to shift allegiances throughout the Commonwealth period and, when Charles II was restored in 1660, he was arrested, charged with treason, and executed the following year in Edinburgh.

David Scougall

David Scougall

David Scougall may have studied with John Michael Wright, whose work he certainly copied, but very little is known about this portrait painter aside from the works signed by or attributed to him and a few surviving accounts. His clients included some of the most powerful people in Scotland, for example, Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyll, whose daughter Scougal also painted in 1654. His son or nephew, John Scougal, was also a portrait painter and some of his early works may have been confused with those of the older artist.