Allan Ramsay (Scottish, 1713–1784)
Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, Mrs. Allan Ramsay, ca. 1758–59
Oil on canvas
29 1/4 x 24 1/4 in.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
© Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland
Ramsay produced this sensitive portrayal of his wife in London, most likely after the birth of their second surviving child. With painterly brushstrokes, he defines the lustrous pleats of her silk gown and the patterned lace of her sleeves and mantle. Margaret’s exquisite attire conveys her status as a daughter of a Scottish baronet and the spouse of a wealthy and successful artist. Pausing as though interrupted from her task of arranging flowers in a Chinese porcelain vase, she turns her gaze and delicate features toward the viewer. This natural action, a hallmark of Ramsay’s mature depictions of female sitters, represents a departure from earlier, mannered portrait conventions.