Charles Jervas

John Campbell, 3rd Earl of Breadalbane, 1696 - 1782. (as a child in highland costume) (1708)

About this artwork

This portrait of John Campbell is an important early depiction of Highland dress. The elaborate costume and landscape background indicate the status of the young sitter, who was heir to one of the great Highland families, the Campbells of Glenorchy. John Campbell was born in London and educated in Oxford. From 1720 until 1729 he was a diplomat at the Danish court in Copenhagen and in 1731 he became ambassador to Russia. Campbell was also an elected MP. He succeeded his father as Earl of Breadalbane in 1752 and that same year was chosen as a representative peer for Scotland. In later life Campbell spent much time and energy improving the family estate on the shores of Loch Tay in Perthshire.

Charles Jervas

Charles Jervas

Charles Jervas was an Irish portrait painter and translator. By the mid-1690s he was in London, where he stayed and trained with Sir Godfrey Kneller. Between 1698 and 1708 Jervas studied in Paris and Rome, and acted as an agent for British art collectors. On his return to London he set up a successful portrait studio. With the help of his patron, Prime Minister Robert Walpole, Jervas secured the post of king’s painter. In this capacity he painted King George II, Queen Caroline and Prince William, Duke of Cumberland. While his reputation as a painter declined during the 1730s, Jervas’s literary ambitions resulted in a number of translations of French, Italian and Spanish literature. His most famous translation, of Cervante’s ‘Don Quichote’, was published posthumously in 1742.