Sketchbook of Drawings Made in the Highlands: Portrait of a Young Man in Military Dress (About 1749)

About this artwork

The drawings in this sketchbook were made in the late 1740s while Sandby was employed by the Board of Ordinance to make maps of the Scottish Highlands. As well as observing the landscape, Sandby made a number of figure studies, including soldiers and ordinary Highland families. This portrait shows a young man dressed in military clothes who is sketching. It may be Sandby’s friend William Roy, but it has also been suggested that it might be Sandby himself. The background shows a large estate and a castle. Sandby’s other sketches of this period show a number of unidentified houses and estates, which he encountered while in the field undertaking the survey.

  • title: Sketchbook of Drawings Made in the Highlands: Portrait of a Young Man in Military Dress
  • accession number: D 5339 B
  • Attributed to: Paul SandbyEnglish (1731 - 1809)
  • artist: Unknown
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • materials: Pen and ink and watercolour over pencil on paper
  • date created: About 1749
  • measurements: 16.30 x 25.50 cm; 17.50 x 26.00 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1993
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Paul Sandby

Paul Sandby

Sandby is best known for his topographical and picturesque landscapes in watercolour. He probably learned drawing from his brother Thomas, and like him became a military draughtsman for the Board of Ordnance at the Tower of London. In 1747 Sandby was appointed chief draughtsman to the Military Survey in Scotland, established in the wake of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. Based in Edinburgh, where he taught Robert Adam drawing, he travelled throughout the country producing detailed maps for the army and painting both topographical and picturesque views. In 1768 he became a founder member of the Royal Academy, London.