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© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Allan Ramsayoil on canvas, circa 1737-173924 in. x 18 1/4 in. (610 mm x 464 mm) ovalPurchased, 1946NPG 3311
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29 September 2017, 13:40
Allan Ramsay of Kinkell was the uncle of Dido Elizabeth Belle. Her aunt was Margaret Ramsay (born Lindsay, elder sister of Sir John Lindsay KB, Prince of Arcot. Ramsay eloped with Margaret and married in the early 1750's having 3 children: Amelia, Charlotte and John. They would have been regular visitors to Caen Wood House in Hampstead where Dido spent many years with the Mansfields. It is my very strong suspicion that the painting of the girls in 1779 (Dido & Elizabeth Mary Murray) is so painted by Allan Ramsay. That painting now hangs at Scone Palace in Perth, Scotland. And it is rare because it is the only recorded painting of Dido in existence. Sir John often referred to Allan Ramsay
as his brother - they were quite close - even getting sculptures made of themselves whilst in Italy in 1775 by Michael Foye.
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