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Born Mar. 4, 1756, in Stockbridge, near Edinburgh; died there July 8, 1823. Scottish painter.
Raeburn studied in Edinburgh with D. Martin, a leading Edinburgh painter. From 1785 to 1787 he toured Italy. In 1812, Raeburn was elected president of the Edinburgh Society of Artists, and in 1822 he was appointed a court painter.
Raeburn painted romantic individualized portraits of members of the Scottish gentry, cultural figures, and common folk. He sought to reveal the resoluteness and uniqueness of the Scottish people. His subjects were often represented in national costume and against a background of typical Scottish accessories and landscapes. Shadows of red and green—the dominant colors in Scottish fabrics—predominated in Raeburn’s palette. The artist’s works were marked by generalized forms, a free and rich technique, and effective use of composition and light. Examples are Sir John and Lady Clerk Taking a Walk (c. 1790, collection of A. Beit, London), Portrait of Colonel Hollistair Mac-donnel of Glengarry (c. 1800–12, National Gallery, Edinburgh), and Portrait of Margaret Scott-Moncrieff (c. 1814, National Gallery, Edinburgh).