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Title Sir William Fordyce
Collection Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen
Artist Attributed to Kauffmann, Angelica (Swiss painter and printmaker, 1741-1807)
Date Earliest 1766
Date Latest 1781
Description In this sympathetic portrayal of the Scottish physician and writer Sir William Fordyce (1724-1792), the sitter looks off to one side, introspectively. While fashionable in appearance, with curled hair and fur-lined jacket, we are reminded of his academic status by the scroll he holds and the books propped up behind him.

The picture is attributed to the Swiss artist Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), famed for her history paintings and portraits, and a founder member of London's Royal Academy. The painting is typical of Kauffman's portraiture from her period in London (1766-1781), and is reminiscent of the work of Reynolds.

Current Accession Number ABDUA 30062
Subject portrait (Fordyce, Sir William)
Measurements 118 x 92 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased by King's College, Aberdeen, 1839.
Provenance Bought by K. C. Fordyce (1724-1792);By descent.
Notes The date range given indicates the years that Kauffman spent in London, where she would have painted this portrait of Sir William Fordyce.

The portrait is at the Marischal Museum (University of Aberdeen). Fordyce was educated at Marischal College and would eventually become the college's rector.

The University of Aberdeen notes for the picture relate 'Senatus Mins 13/11/1839: William Booth (portrait painter in London) inspected the portrait & 'declared an original portrait by Kauffman, and as good a speciemen as he had ever seen''.

Rights Owner The University of Aberdeen
Author David Taylor

 

 

 

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