Augustin Edouart

Anne MacVicar, Mrs James Grant of Laggan [Bana Ghranndach an Lagain], 1755 - 1838. Writer (1831)

About this artwork

The silhouette - sharp and elegant - seems to suit Anne MacVicar particularly well. Sir Walter Scott described her as "a woman whose tongue and pen are rather overpowering". In 1779 she married the Reverend James Grant, minister of the parish of Laggan, in Inverness-shire. There she learned Gaelic and wrote frequent letters to her friends describing the habits of the local population. After her husband's death in 1801, she supported her eight children by writing about life in the Highlands, a subject that fascinated fashionable society at the time.

Augustin Edouart

Augustin Edouart

The Frenchman Augustin Edouart was the most prolific silhouette artist of his day. Born in Dunkirk, he served in the Napoleonic Wars and came to England in 1814. Edouart travelled around the country extensively, cutting the silhouettes of nearly every man and woman who had even the slightest claim to fame. In 1830 and 31 he was in Scotland, working in Edinburgh and in Glasgow. His silhouette portraits were cut from black paper and are mostly full-length profiles, around 18 centimetres high.