Ramsay MacDonald with members of his family

1 portrait of Peggy Angus

Identify sitters

© estate of Peggy Angus / National Portrait Gallery, London

1 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

Ramsay MacDonald with members of his family

by Peggy Angus
oil on plywood, 1930s
24 in. x 20 in. (608 mm x 508 mm)
Purchased, 1990
Primary Collection
NPG 6102

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

This group was painted at Chequers and shows the artist (standing by the piano) with members of the Macdonald family: Ramsay Macdonald is seated reading a newspaper and in the foreground is his son Malcolm (standing, right) and his daughter Ishbel (seated, right). The family's housekeeper is at the piano, and Alister Macdonald's children play on the floor.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 49 Read entry

    Designer and painter Peggy Angus was a friend of the Labour Party’s first Prime Minister, James Ramsay MacDonald. She portrays herself here standing and singing next to the piano in a family evening at home. The muted autumnal colours lend a cosy air: the red tablecloth like the central red seat cover in Hamilton’s painting, acts as focal point to the group. Both works show the artists functioning in their own contemporary milieu and the formulation of a sort of environmental self-portraiture.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 729

Placesback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1930back to top

Current affairs

Amy Johnson is the first woman to fly solo to Australia. She flew the 11,000 miles from Croydon to Darwin in a De Havilland Gipsy Moth named Jason and won the Harmon Trophy as well as a CBE for her achievement. She went on to break a number of other flying records, and died while serving in the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1941.

Art and science

Noel Coward's play, Private Lives is first performed. The original run starred Gertrude Lawrence and Laurence Olivier as well as Coward himself. Private Lives became Coward's most enduringly successful play.


Gandhi leads the Salt March. The march to the coast was a direct protest against the British monopoly on the sale of salt and inspired hordes of Indians to follow him and adopt his methods of Satyagraha (non-violent resistance to the British rule of India).
Stalin orders the 'liquidation of the kulaks (wealthy farmers) as a class' in a violent attempt to centralise control of agriculture and collectivise farming.

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

M.E.N. Moody

21 June 2019, 17:08

Early 40s, my father's office was evacuated to Harrogate, G.P.O.. We moved to Leeds 8, where, at less than 5, I had my tonsil and adenoids removed. Our doctors were the Drs. MacKinnon. Mother made great play on telling us that Dr. Mrs. Dr. MacKinnon was the daughter of Ramsey MacDonald. She did well. Nearly 80 years on, it sticks!
Joan Margaret MacKinnon. 28.4.08 - 23.8.89.
FameChain gives all 6 children.


01 April 2018, 22:41

The caption makes reference to Alister Macdonald's two children playing on the floor but they are unnamed on the records. They are Jean and Bridget Macdonald. The latter is cited as being 27 years old when she was married in November 1952 so most likely born in 1925 or possibly 1924.