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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

William McTaggart (1835-1910), Painter

Self portraits
By other artists
Photographs
Posthumous portrait

For a useful list of portraits, see Caw 1917, Appendix I, pp.217–18, ‘Portraits of William McTaggart’.

Self portraitsback to top


1852
Oil on canvas, head-and-shoulders to right, eyes to left, clean-shaven; untraced. Repr. Caw 1917, facing p.12; and Errington 1989, p.14.

1892
Oil on canvas, Oak Leaves in Autumn – a study, bust-length to left, head turned to viewer, wearing hat and holding palette; NGS, Edinburgh, NG 2185. Repr. AJ, 1894, p.244; Caw 1917, frontispiece (photogravure by T. & R. Annan & Sons with facsimile signature); and Errington 1989, p.101. [1]
This is the prime portrait for McTaggart.


By other artistsback to top


c.1853
Chalk drawing by J.B. MacDonald, 254 x 168mm, head and shoulders, clean-shaven, profile to left; untraced. Ref. Caw 1917, p.217; and see woodcut after drawing repr. Strand, vol.14, 1897, p.160.

c.1855–6
Oil on canvas by William Fettes Douglas, head, profile to left, moustache but no beard; priv. coll. For repr. see SNPG Reference Section, SPH VII 985-2. The head was a preparatory work in connexion with Douglas’s painting The Messenger of Evil Tidings (1856, coll. RSA, Edinburgh), though there the head is in profile to right.

c.1870
Oil on canvas by George Paul Chalmers, half-length, head turned to left; SNPG, Edinburgh, PG 2798. ‘One of the best portraits’ (Caw 1912a) and the earliest showing McTaggart with a beard.

c.1878
Plaster bust by George Webster, 711mm high; untraced. Ref. Caw 1917, p.217.

c.1888
Oil on canvas by James Lawton Wingate, 508 x 381mm, three-quarter-length; untraced. Ref. Caw 1917, p.217.

1880s
Oil on canvas by J.M. Henderson, 915 x 760mm, half-length; untraced. Ref. Trace, issue 31, May 1991, p.17.

1891
Oil on canvas by George Reid, head and shoulders in feigned oval, head turned to right; Aberdeen AG, ABDAG003993).

1892
Chalk and watercolour drawing by (William) Walker Hodgson; see NPG 4041(2).

publ. 1898
Wash drawing by R. Abercrombie, whole-length, standing to right, at easel with palette and brushes, smoking pipe, under large sun umbrella; untraced. Ref. Caw 1917, p.217; repr. Scots Pictorial, 6 Aug. 1898, p.249.

1903
Oil on canvas by John Henderson, 597 x 178mm; untraced; coll. Mrs C.M. Penman, 1917; ref. Caw 1917, p.217.

1906
Oil on canvas by John Henderson, half-length to left, looking to left, holding palette and brushes; untraced; Sotheby’s, 4 Apr. 1985 (464, ill.). Exh. RGI 1907; ref. Caw 1917, p.217.

c.1906
Oil on canvas by J.B. Abercromby, head-and-shoulders, 597 x 496mm; untraced; coll. John P. McTaggart, 1917; ref. Caw 1917, p.217.

1908
Watercolour drawing by Henry Wright Kerr, head-and-shoulders, head turned three-quarters to left, 660 x 470mm; untraced; coll. Mrs McTaggart, 1917; ref. Caw 1917, p.217. Repr. Studio, 1909, p.83.

Watercolour sketch by Henry Wright Kerr, 318 x 241mm; untraced; coll. Mrs H.H. McTaggart, 1917 (Caw 1917, p.218).

Watercolour drawing by Henry Wright Kerr, half-length, slightly to left; untraced. Exh. RSA, Edinburgh, 1909; RSW 1910; repr. Bate 1910 (no page no.); for half-tone repr. see SNPG Reference Section, SPH VII 985-1. Ref. Caw 1917, p.218.

1909
Watercolour drawing by Henry Wright Kerr, head-and-shoulders, 711 x 546mm; untraced; coll. Mr and Mrs James L. Caw, 1917; Caw 1917, p.218.


Photographsback to top


early 1860s
Photograph by William P. Truefitt, Edinburgh, head-and-shoulders, to left, with the Edinburgh Sketching Club (on board ship?), 13 figures (back row, left to right: William Fleming Vallance, George Hay, John Blake McDonald, William Ewart Lockhart, Thomas Graham, William McTaggart, Otto Leyde, Robert Purves Bell, Keeley Halswelle; front row, left to right: George Paul Chalmers, John Pettie, Steuart [A Stewart?], E.L. Johnston; copies colls RSA, Edinburgh, no acc. no.; and priv. coll., Glasgow (with inscr.).

later 1860s?
Photograph by J.G. Tunny, Edinburgh, head-and-shoulders, head facing left. Wood-engr. by J. Paterson after Tunny repr. Strand, vol.14, 1897, p.160.

Albumen carte-de-visite by Nesbitt & Lothian, Edinburgh, head-and-shoulders to left, looking to left; NPG Ax17290.

c.1880
Photograph by Moffat, Edinburgh, three-quarter-length, seated to left, head turned to right, wearing reefer jacket, sailor’s cap and holding a telescope; copies colls McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian; and RSA, Edinburgh. Repr. Gordon 1976, pl.XIV; wood-engr. by J. Paterson after Moffat repr. Strand, vol.14, 1897, p.160.

c.1880s
Photograph by J. Moffat, Edinburgh, head-and-shoulders to right, bald dome, thick moustache and beard; copies McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Often reproduced.
This is the prime photograph for McTaggart.

later 1880s
Platinotype photograph by William Crooke, Edinburgh, head-and-shoulders to right, bald dome, thick moustache and beard, tie tucked inside waistcoat; copy McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Wood-engr. by J. Paterson after Crooke repr. Strand, vol.14, 1897, p.160.

1898
Photographs by Hugh McTaggart, two known poses:
(a) whole-length, back view, painting on the beach at Machrihanish Bay; repr. (roundel) Webster 1901, p.38; and Errington 1989, p.122.
(b) very similar pose, slightly further to the right, repr. Caw 1917, facing p.196.

1890s?
Photograph by unidentified photographer, reclining on rocks, looking to left, at Gauldrons Bay, near Machrihanish; copy coll. McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Repr. Errington 1989, p.105.

1900s
Photographs by unidentified photographer in Dean Park studio, Broomieknowe, three known poses:
(a) seated to right, looking to right, hands clasped, wearing cap, two framed paintings in background; copy coll. McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Repr. Errington 1989, frontispiece.
(b) whole-length, standing to right in front of easel, holding palette and brushes, wearing cap; copy coll. McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Repr. Errington 1989, p.90.
(c) standing, looking to right, wearing cap, right hand on chair, at left of family group in studio, seven figures; copy coll. McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian. Repr. Errington 1989, p.95.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, standing centre left, looking to right, bare-headed, with family group in studio, 14 figures including children; copy coll. McTaggart Family Archive, Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Local History Soc., Midlothian.

Platinum print by (Mary) Olive Edis (Mrs Galsworthy), head-and-shoulders to right, looking to right, grey beard; copy NPG x15493 inscr. on reverse ‘MacTaggart R.S.A. / Edinburgh’.


Posthumous portraitback to top


Watercolour drawing by Henry Wright Kerr, signed and dated ‘1911’; Christie’s & Edmistons, Edinburgh, 2 July 1981 (38). Not seen: this might be a late portrait by Henry Wright Kerr (see his other late portraits above); or even an early portrait of McTaggart’s grandson [Sir] William McTaggart (1903–81, artist).


Footnotes
1) A self-portrait by McTaggart exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Inst. of Fine Arts, 1940 (190, lent by Mrs James King) probably refers to the 1892 portrait. McTaggart’s appearance in 1889: ‘His appearance at that time, and for a good while afterwards, finds most excellent record in the self-portrait painted in 1892 … the clear fresh complexion, tanned with exposure to the sun and wind he loved; the ruddy brown of beard and bushy eyebrows; and the sincere and twinkling blue of the eyes, which gave his face a special charm’: Caw 1917, p.125.

Carol Blackett-Ord