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Title:Alexander Maconochie (1777–1861) of Meadowbank
Artist:Sir Henry Raeburn (British, Stockbridge, Scotland 1756–1823 Edinburgh, Scotland)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:30 1/4 x 25 in. (76.8 x 63.5 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of William P. Clyde, 1960
Alexander Maconochie was the eldest son of an eminent Scottish judge, Allan Maconochie, first Lord Meadowbank, of Meadowbank, Midlothian, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Welwood of Garvock and Pitliver, Fife. In 1805 he married Anne, eldest daughter of Robert Blair of Avontoun, West Lothian, who was also a judge. The couple had ten children. The sitter was admitted an advocate in 1799 and succeeded as lord advocate in 1816; in 1819 he took his seat on the bench as a Lord of Session. He was a politician and a member of Parliament for two constituencies, Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight (1817–18) and the Anstruther district, a burgh in Fife (1818–19). In 1854 he succeeded to the entailed estate of Garvock and Pitliver and assumed the additional name of Welwood.
Reportedly, Maconochie sat for this portrait in 1816 at the age of thirty-nine; it was engraved in mezzotint by T. Dick in 1839. The work is in good state but somewhat discolored. The eyes were scratched at some time in the past, and the pupils were repainted. Maconochie's father and mother also sat for Raeburn (Scottish National Portrait Gallery and private collection, respectively).
[2010; adapted from Baetjer 2009]
Inscription: Inscribed (reverse): Alexr Maconochie Welwood / of Meadowbank / & Garvock / (2d Lord Meadowbank) / Raeburn pinxT
the sitter, Alexander Maconochie-Welwood, 2nd Lord Meadowbank, of Meadowbank, Midlothian, and Garvock, Fife (until d. 1861); his son, Allan Alexander Maconochie-Welwood of Meadowbank and Garvock (1861–d. 1885); his nephew, John Allan Maconochie-Welwood of Kirknewton, Midlothian, and Garvock (1885–at least 1911); [Colnaghi, London, until 1923; sold with one other painting for $4,230 to Knoedler]; [Knoedler, London and New York, 1923; sold for £800 to Clyde]; William P. Clyde, Washington, D.C. (1923–60)
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "50th Exhibition," 1818, no. 268 (as "Right Hon. A. Macconochie, Lord Advocate of Scotland," lent by H. Raeburn).
Edinburgh. Royal Academy, National Galleries. "Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.," October–November 1876, no. 69 (as "Hon. Alexander Maconochie Welwood . . . at age 39 . . . Painted in 1816," lent by Allan A. Maconochie Welwood of Meadowbank).
Edinburgh. Royal Scottish Academy. 1901, no. 154 (lent by J. A. Maconochie-Welwood).
Columbus, Ga. Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts. "A Centenary of a Great Museum: Old Master Paintings," November 1, 1969–October 31, 1970, unnum. checklist.
William Raeburn Andrew. Life of Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. 2nd ed. London, 1894, p. 140, no. 220.
Walter Armstrong. Sir Henry Raeburn. London, 1901, p. 114, as engraved in mezzotint by Dick.
Edward Pinnington. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A. London, 1904, p. 240.
G. F. R[ussell]. B[aker]. "Alexander Maconochie, afterwards Maconochie-Welwood." Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 12, London, 1909, p. 700.
James Greig. Sir Henry Raeburn, R.A.: His Life and Works. London, 1911, p. 53.
Freeman O'Donoghue. Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. Vol. 3, London, 1912, p. 134.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 197, ill.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, p. 175, no. 86, ill. (color).
Old Masters: Day Sale. Sotheby's, London. July 7, 2016, p. 123, under no. 212, states that it formed a pair with a portrait of the sitter's wife by Raeburn (oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 25 1/2 in.) painted in 1818, noting that the two works remained together until at least 1901.
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