About this artwork

This self-portrait by Scottish artist Andrew Geddes is dated 1812, only two years after Geddes established his own portrait studio in Edinburgh. Geddes was a knowledgeable enthusiast of the Old Masters and his work is influenced by their rich colours and vigorous brush work. This portrait shows the artist in fashionable ‘fancy dress’ that is reminiscent of paintings by seventeenth-century Flemish artist Van Dyck. Geddes is wearing a red satin coat with full sleeves, a Dutch-style falling collar and a cream-coloured cap. The painting is on long-term loan from the Society of Antiquaries and bears on its back the seal and signature of the 11th Earl of Buchan, who probably sold or donated the portrait to the Society.

  • title: Andrew Geddes, 1783 - 1844. Artist (Self-portrait)
  • accession number: PG 3550
  • artist: Andrew GeddesScottish (1783 - 1844)
  • depicted: Andrew Geddes
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Self-portrait
  • date created: Dated 1812
  • measurements: 34.00 x 28.00 cm (framed: 43.10 x 37.00 x 3.30 cm)
  • credit line: David Laing bequest to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Gifted in 2009
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Andrew Geddes

Andrew Geddes

Andrew Geddes, portrait painter and print-maker, was born in Edinburgh and attended Edinburgh University. He worked as a clerk for five years; only after his father's death was he able to study at the Royal Academy Schools in London. He returned to Edinburgh in 1810 and set up a portrait studio; he was back in London by 1814. With a fine sense of texture and colour, Geddes excelled at 'fancy pictures' - portraits of sitters dressed in exotic costume. His European travels enriched his art, in particular, a visit to Holland in 1839, where he admired the etched work of Rembrandt. Geddes was also an important collector of Old Master drawings, paintings and prints.