Sir John Steell
Carrera marble, with s sandstone plinth by David Bryce
Princes Street Gardens West, Edinburgh
Caught in mid-stride and apparently in mid-thought, the Edinburgh poet and publisher Allan Ramsay (1686-1758) holds a book in one hand and a pencil in the other. Steel seems to have offered us an idealised version of his subject, who in real life was short, and later on fat (see Pittock). Although Ramsay had once been a wig-maker, and is shown here clad in warm outdoor clothes including a Scottish plaid, he sports a night-cap rather than a wig (see "Allan Ramsay Statue"). This was not Steell's quirk, but Ramsay's, since he wears the same kind of cap in a portrait of him painted by his eldest son, an important Scottish artist of the same name — Allan Ramsay, 1713-1784 (continued below).
Photograph and caption by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009.
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