About this artwork

Leslie had a long and successful career as a soldier: attaining rank of a Dutch captain, a Swedish field marshal and, in Scotland, the title Earl of Leven. From 1605-7 he served under Sir Horace Vere in the Netherlands before transferring to the Swedish army in 1608. His career in Sweden was distinguished and he was knighted by King Gustavus Adolphus in 1626. In 1638 he returned to Scotland following the emerging crisis surrounding the signing of the Covenant. Taking command of the army of the Covenant, Leslie led the forces in the ensuing wars. He was around seventy when the third civil war broke out and tried to resign as commander-in-chief, but the Scottish parliament refused to accept it and he was required to maintain strategic command. He finally retired to his Fife estates in 1654.

  • title: Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, c 1580 - 1661. Soldier
  • accession number: PG 1411
  • Attributed to: George JamesoneScottish (1589 / 1590 - 1644)
  • artist: Unknown
  • depicted: Alexander Leslie
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Military and naval
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: After 1638
  • measurements: 69.10 x 59.60 cm
  • credit line: Bequeathed by the Marquess of Lothian 1941

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.