Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823)
Sir Henry Raeburn was a portrait painter from Stockbridge, now part of Edinburgh.
During his apprenticeship to a jeweller, Raeburn started painting miniature portraits. Such miniatures were often sold by jewellers. It is likely that this started his career as an artist.
Prominent Scottish portrait painter
In the early 1780s he visited Europe to learn more about painting. After his return to Edinburgh in 1786 he became the most prominent Scottish portrait painter of his time, following in the footsteps of Allan Ramsay.
Raeburn’s studios were in Edinburgh’s growing New Town, first on the south side of George Street and later in a grand terraced house in York Place. They also boasted reception areas, a picture gallery and a frame-makers workshop – everything needed for wealthy clients.
Image: ‘Sir Henry Raeburn’, after Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey, circa 1816-1822. By courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.