Sir John Baptiste de Medina

James Drummond, 2nd titular Duke of Perth, 1673 - 1720. Jacobite (About 1700)

About this artwork

Drummond joined the 1715 Jacobite uprising against the new Hanoverian dynasty ruling Britain. He commanded the cavalry at the battle of Sherrifmuir. After the defeat, he fled to Paris and died in exile. Drummond is shown here with a young black slave, wearing a metal collar, who gazes up at his master. Although at the time of this portrait, the boy's equal humanity was denied, Medina has painted him with warmth and sympathy whilst the Duke seems stiff and remote.

Sir John Baptiste de Medina

Sir John Baptiste de Medina

John Baptiste de Medina was born in Brussels, the son of a Spanish army captain. He trained with the Flemish portrait painter, Francois Duchatel and moved to London to set up a portrait practice in about 1686. Moderately successful, he employed several assistants in his Drury Lane studio. He counted several members of the Scottish aristocracy amongst his clients and in 1694 he was persuaded to visit Edinburgh to paint their wives and families. With virtually no competition in Scotland, Medina decided to settle. With his distinctive, informal baroque manner, he captured a generation of Scottish society and was knighted in 1706 by the last Scottish parliament before the Act of Union.