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The Late Celebrated Scotch Musician, Neil Gow

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    12/08/1815 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Say, William, born 1768 - died 1834 (engraver)
    Macdonald, Thomas (publisher)
    Raeburn, Henry (Sir), born 1756 - died 1823 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mezzotint on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case PP, shelf 15, box A

Physical description

Three-quarter length portrait of Niel Gow, directed to front and seated in a chair, wearing plaid breeches and stockings and playing the violin.

Place of Origin

London (published)


12/08/1815 (published)


Say, William, born 1768 - died 1834 (engraver)
Macdonald, Thomas (publisher)
Raeburn, Henry (Sir), born 1756 - died 1823 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Mezzotint on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Painted by Henry Raeburn Esqr. R.A. London, Published 12 August, 1815, by Thos. Macdonald, Poets Gallery, 39 Fleet St. Engraved by W. Say, Engraver to H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester. This Portrait of the Late Celebrated Scotch Musician, Neil Gow, is by Permission most respectfully Dedicated to His Grace John Duke of Atholl, K. T. &c. &c. &c. By His Graces Most Obedient and Obliged Humble Servant / Thos. Macdonald.'


Height: 55.3 cm sheet, Width: 40.5 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Print, three-quarter length portrait of Niel Gow. Mezzotint by William Say after Henry Raeburn, 1815.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ward-Jackson, Peter, Italian Drawings Volume I. 14th-16th century, London, 1979, p. 164-165.

The text is as follows:

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Inscribed on the back in red ink in a modern hand 'No. 40. 10/71' and again in pencil 'Angelo Bronzino'
Black chalk
71 X 7 7/8 (196 x 199) 2287

PROVENANCE Sir T. Lawrence (Lugt 2445); S. Woodburn (sale, Christie, 4-8 June 1860, unidentified lot, bought for the Museum)

Formerly catalogued under Bronzino; attributed to Tosini by Pouncey and, as he subsequently discovered, connected with a picture in the Museo Civico at Udine. In the picture the artist substituted a landscape and a ruined stone house for the rustic hut, and the figures on the left are differently grouped. But the shepherd raising his cap is there, so is the kneeling Virgin, flanked by two angels, and the Child lying on the ground. The pose of the angel on the right, with hands raised, is almost the same in the picture as in the drawing; and the little separate sketch of St Joseph kneeling, with his hands crossed on his breast, in the bottom left-hand corner of the drawing was used in the picture instead of the kneeling shepherd.





Subjects depicted

Musician; Violin; Music


Portraits; Prints; Scotland


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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