About this artwork

This is one of Ramsay's finest male portraits and celebrates a prominent figure in the brilliant intellectual life of Edinburgh during the Enlightenment. The distinguished judge is seated informally resting one arm on the table. Ramsay used light and shadow to provide a convincing likeness but also to enliven Lord Drummore's black and white clothes. This painting was commissioned by the Edinburgh Musical Society, with which both Ramsay and Lord Drummore were closely involved.

  • title: Hew Dalrymple, Lord Drummore, 1690 - 1755. Scottish judge
  • accession number: PG 2800
  • artist: Allan RamsayScottish (1713 - 1784)
  • depicted: Hew Dalrymple, Lord Drummore
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: The law Music
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1754
  • measurements: 127.00 x 102.20 cm (framed: 138.00 x 112.00 x 6.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 1989
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay

Ramsay, named after his father who was a poet, was internationally renowned for his outstanding portraits. He attended the new Academy of St Luke in Edinburgh and then continued his artistic education in Italy. He visited Rome, studying at the French Academy and Naples. British residents commissioned many portraits from him and as soon as he returned to London he established a successful studio. He also returned to Edinburgh regularly. King George III appointed him King's painter. As a gifted conversationalist and writer of essays, Ramsay pursued his scholarly interests when injury to his right arm in 1773 cut short his painting career.