Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Margaret Anne Forbes-Drummond, Lady Walker Drummond (d.1876) 1810c.

Sir Henry Raeburn PRSA (1756-1823)

Portrait of Margaret Anne Forbes-Drummond, Lady Walker Drummond (d.1876), Sir Henry Raeburn PRSA
Oil on canvas
19th Century
35 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches 89.5 x 69.8 cm
By descent in the Drummond family
Sir Walter Armstrong Raeburn 1901 p. 100 as a portrait of her mother Lady Drummond; James Greig Raeburn 1911 p. 43; E.R. Dibdin Sir Henry Raeburn 1925 p. 146
Raeburn Exhibition Edinburgh 1876 no. 117 as a portrait of her mother Lady Drummond
This portrait of Lady Walker-Drummond exhibits the bold effects of lighting that characterise Raeburn's work, which can be found in a number of comparable and female portraits executed at the same date as this example.

His Portrait of Frances Harriet Wynne 1811 (National Gallery of Scotland) or his Portrait of the Duchess ofRoxburghe 1812 (Duke of Roxburghe Collection) display this typical chiaroscuro, but as full-lengths they lack the particular presence of Lady Drummond.

She is brought directly forward into the picture plane by the cropping of her dress and the bonnet on which she maintains a nervous grip. A portrait which was presumably executed as a wedding piece in 1810 goes beyond a conventional record and becomes an engaging expression of a young girl's character. That the hesitancy in her manner may soon be overcome may be suggested by the clear sky about to break through the dark clouds behind her.

Margaret Anne Forbes-Drummond was the only child and heiress of Sir John Forbes-Drummond, a distinguished naval officer, and his wife Mary Ogilvie, heiress of Hawthornden. In 1810 she married Francis Walker (1781-1844), who by the patent creating the Forbes-Drummond baronetcy in 1828, inherited his father in law''s title at Sir John''s death in 1829. This portrait has previously been identified as being that of the elder Lady Drummond, but both by its date of c. 1810 and by the age of the sitter it is far more probably an image of her daughter, Lady Walker-Drummond.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.