About this artwork

This self-portrait was painted a few years after Andrew Geddes had given up his secure office job to become a portrait painter and print-maker. With its rich, glowing colours and bold rendering of different textures, the portrait demonstrates both the influence of the fashionable English painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the young artist's natural gift for handling paint.

Andrew Geddes

Andrew Geddes

Andrew Geddes, portrait painter and print-maker, was born in Edinburgh and attended Edinburgh University. He worked as a clerk for five years; only after his father's death was he able to study at the Royal Academy Schools in London. He returned to Edinburgh in 1810 and set up a portrait studio; he was back in London by 1814. With a fine sense of texture and colour, Geddes excelled at 'fancy pictures' - portraits of sitters dressed in exotic costume. His European travels enriched his art, in particular, a visit to Holland in 1839, where he admired the etched work of Rembrandt. Geddes was also an important collector of Old Master drawings, paintings and prints.