- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Allan Ramsay
red chalk heightened with white on buff paper, 1776
11 3/8 in. x 8 1/2 in. (289 mm x 216 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Allan Ramsay (1713-1784), Portrait painter. Sitter in 3 portraits, Artist associated with 120 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Allan Ramsay (1713-1784), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 120 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Allan Ramsay drew many self-portraits during his visits to Italy, when time could be spared from his busy studio practice. This poignant image from one of his last visits, in 1776, highlights the creative outlet offered by drawing when painting was difficult. Ramsay fell from a ladder in 1773, permanently damaging his painting arm. He drew this self-portrait while taking the supposedly-curative waters on the island of Ischia but his arm didn't improve. This melancholic portrait is one of his last works. Forced to give up painting, he devoted the last years of his life to writing and travel. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 57
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 511
- Smart, Alastair, Allan Ramsay, 1713-1784, 1992 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from Catalogue of exhibition held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1 Aug. - 27 Sept. 1992; and the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 16 Oct. 1992 - 17 Jan. 1993.), p. 92
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Art of Drawing: Portraits from the Collection, 1670-1780 (19 October 2012 - 19 May 2013)
Events of 1776back to top
Current affairsTahitian visitor to London Omai returns home with Captain James Cook on his third voyage. During his two-year stay he inspired a play and was painted by Joshua Reynolds.
Member of Parliament David Hartley unsuccessfully introduces a motion to the House of Commons calling for the abolition of the slave trade.
Art and scienceEdward Gibbon produces the first volume of his monumental The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Artist John Constable is born.
Scottish economist Adam Smith analyses the nature and causes of prosperity in his magnum opus The Wealth of Nations.
InternationalAmerican War of Independence: George Washington raises a new American flag on Prospect Hill, Boston. In an anonymous pamphlet entitled Common Sense, English immigrant Thomas Paine is the first to argue that the American colonies should be independent. Declaration of American Independence on 4 July.
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.