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Born 4 March 1756 – Died 8 July 1823

Really loved to paint portraits, and faces and hands in particular. As a teen he made watercolor minitures of his friends. Fabulously talented, by 20 he had a thriving portraiture business, notwithstanding a lack of any formal training.

Then at 22 he sketched and then married the very wealthy Anne Leslie, widow of Count Leslie. She was 12 years older then him and had three kids. No matter. Happy and with the Deanhaugh Estate in Stockbridge under his belt, he spent the rest of his life painting the good and great of Scotland. Not just any old good and great Scott, but Hume, Scott, Adam Smith, and dozens of other leaders of thought, art, and science of what is called the Scottish Enlightenment.

George IV knighted him and made him the Painter and Limner for Scotland. That is, the bloke who draws or paints members of the Royal Family to decorate their palaces.

Now Raeburn is in a bit of pickle. His wildly popular Skating Minister, a symbol of Scottish creativity and accomplishment, apparently isn't his at all. No fault of Raeburn's. It was only discovered 125 years after his death, and he never made any mention of it.


Walter Armstrong, Raeburn, Henry (DNB00), Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Vol.47.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Henry Raeburn

Sir Henry Raeburn RA RSA FRSE (/ˈrbərn/; 4 March 1756 – 8 July 1823) was a Scottish portrait painter. He served as Portrait Painter to King George IV in Scotland.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Henry Raeburn