Search the Collection

James Beattie

(1735-1803), Poet and philosopher

Sitter in 4 portraits
James Beattie was a Scottish scholar and writer. He was the son of a shopkeeper and small farmer at Laurencekirk in the Mearns, and was educated at Aberdeen University. In 1760, Beattie was appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen. In the following year, he published a volume of poems, The Judgment of Paris (1765), which attracted much favourable attention. The two works that brought him most fame were his Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770) and his poem, The Minstrel, the first book of which was published in 1771 and the second in 1774.

List Thumbnail

James Beattie, by James Watson, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D23555

James Beattie

by James Watson, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published 1775 (1773)
NPG D23555

James Beattie, by Frederick Bromley, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D683

James Beattie

by Frederick Bromley, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published 1861 (1773)
NPG D683

Web image not currently available

James Beattie

by Thomas Gaugain, published by T. Philips, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
stipple engraving, published 16 May 1805
NPG D20339

Web image not currently available

James Beattie

by Frederick Bromley, published by Henry Graves, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published 1861 (1773)
NPG D14674

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, something missing, or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have any information to share please complete the form below

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.