About this artwork

Over his gentlemen's clothes, Hogg has wrapped a shepherd's plaid and he holds a crook in his left hand. Hogg was born on a farm and worked as a shepherd until he established himself as successful writer. He had little formal education and shrewdly promoted himself as 'nature's genius'. He published poetry and prose, his most remarkable work probably being ' The Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, a terrifying novel which still influences contemporary Scottish writers.

Sir John Watson Gordon

Sir John Watson Gordon

John Watson Gordon was training to become an army engineer when, encouraged by his uncle, the painter, George Watson, and Raeburn, who was a family friend, he decided to become an artist. His first works were subject pictures but, after Raeburn's death in 1823, he established himself as the leading portrait painter in Scotland. His style was at first closely based on Raeburn but was later more influenced by his admiration for Velázquez. In 1850 he was elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy, appointed Queen's Limner for Scotland and knighted.