James Johnston of Straiton (died 1841)

Sir Henry Raeburn (British, Stockbridge, Scotland 1756–1823 Edinburgh, Scotland)

Oil on canvas
35 1/4 x 27 1/4 in. (89.5 x 69.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Adele L. Lehman, in memory of Arthur Lehman, 1965
Accession Number:
  • Catalogue Entry

    The sitter is James Johnston of Straiton, Midlothian, who married Mary Baillie, second daughter of William Baillie, Lord Polkemmet, a judge of the Court of Session from 1793 until 1811. The couple had a son, also called James, but the present work, which may date to about 1800, descended in the Baillie family, as did Raeburn’s portrait of Mrs. Johnston. Her portrait, acquired by Knoedler at the same time as that of her husband, was sold in 1912 to George Eastman and belongs now to the Eastman collection at the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York. Mrs. Johnston’s father and her stepmother, born Janet Sinclair, also sat for Raeburn.

    [2010; adapted from Baetjer 2009]

  • Provenance

    by descent to the sitter's wife's nephew, Sir William Baillie, 2nd Baronet, of Polkemmet (by 1876–d. 1890); Lady Baillie of Polkemmet (by 1901–d. 1910; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, June 16, 1911, no. 117, for £1,312.10.0 to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York, 1911; sold to Lehman]; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lehman, New York (1911–his d. 1936); Mrs. Arthur (Adele L.) Lehman, New York (1936–d. 1965)

  • Exhibition History

    Edinburgh. Royal Academy, National Galleries. "Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.," October–November 1876, no. 282 (as "James Johnston, Esq., of Straiton, painted about 1800," lent by Sir William Baillie, Bart., of Polkemmet).

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. "Old Masters," January 11–27, 1912, no. 25.

    New York. M. Knoedler & Co.. "Portraits by Sir Henry Raeburn," January 9–25, 1913, no. 17.

  • References

    William Raeburn Andrew. Life of Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. 2nd ed. London, 1894, p. 131, no. 172, as James Johnston of Straiton, painted about 1800.

    Walter Armstrong. Sir Henry Raeburn. London, 1901, p. 106.

    Edward Pinnington. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. London, 1904, p. 235.

    James Greig. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.: His Life and Works. London, 1911, p. 50.

    Claus Virch. The Adele and Arthur Lehman Collection. New York, 1965, pp. 58–59, ill., as James Johnston of Straiton, Midlothian, and Champfleurie, painted about 1800.

    Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 166–67, no. 80, ill. (color).

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History