About this artwork

This large painting shows a match being played on the Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews. The centre of everybody's attention is a decisive moment in a match between Sir David Baird and Sir Ralph Anstruther against Major Hugh Lyon Playfair and John Campbell of Glen Saddel. Lee carefully composed this complex scene, which includes over fifty individual portraits, using photographs of some of the golfers to help him.

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  • title: The Golfers
  • accession number: PG 3299
  • artist: Charles LeesScottish (1800 - 1880)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Sport and leisure
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1847
  • measurements: 131.00 x 214.00 cm (framed: 169.80 x 252.00 x 15.40 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club 2002
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Charles Lees

Charles Lees

Charles Lees was born in Cupar, Fife. He trained as a painter in Edinburgh with the eminent portraitist, Sir Henry Raeburn. After six months in Rome he returned to Edinburgh where he established himself as a portrait painter. Lees was elected a Royal Scottish Academician in 1830. From the 1840s Lees built himself a reputation as a specialist in depicting sporting subjects; 'The Golfers' was his first major sporting picture.