About this artwork

This large, commanding work by Jamesone illustrates one of the most successful Scottish noble houses of the seventeenth century - the Campbell family of Glenorchy. It is based directly on the medieval format of the Tree of Jesse, originally described in the biblical book of Isaiah, which shows the descent of the Messiah. The original Lord Campbell, Duncan Campbell of Lochawe, is depicted reclining below an elaborately fruiting cherry tree. The trunk is decorated with portraits of Glenorchy lairds, with Colin Campbell (who commissioned the work) second from the top and his potential heir above. The surrounding roundels further document the genealogy. The ornate and heraldic quality reflects Jamesone’s training as a decorative painter and the rich colour scheme is typical of his oeuvre.

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  • title: Campbell of Glenorchy Family Tree
  • accession number: PG 2167
  • artist: George JamesoneScottish (1589 / 1590 - 1644)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Families
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1635
  • measurements: 235.60 x 149.50 cm (framed: 305.00 x 166.50 x 4.20 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1968
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

George Jamesone

George Jamesone

Born in Aberdeen, the portrait painter George Jamesone was the son of a master-mason. He was apprenticed to the decorative painter, John Anderson of Edinburgh, in 1612. His earliest patrons were the merchants and academics of Aberdeen, but he soon became the painter to the nobility of the north east. From 1633 he was working in Edinburgh and painted a series of imaginary portraits of historical monarchs as decorations for the triumphal entry of Charles I. Jamesone was Scotland's first great native painter and was highly celebrated in his lifetime.