James Graham

The Marquis of Montrose, painted by Dobson. The famous Scots Royalist leader in his armour and the plain band that seems to go with it, looking directly at the artist.


7 Comments to “James Graham”

  1. Hi, it’s interesting that you chose to post that particular painting of the Marquess of Montrose on your site. I used to think it was the best representation of him, but just lately I’ve been wondering if it is in fact him. I’ve been unable to find out anything on the provenance, only that it was left to the SNPG by one of the Grahams in the 60’s (I think). I’ve been to an art experts blog (with a particular interest in the 17th century) and asked what they thought, but when I laid out my case, all they said was ‘well, they can’t all be him’. If you take as a starting point the Jamieson, and then look at that portrait in Warwick Castle that was said to be Montrose (said to be a Dobson, now re-attributed to school of Van Dyck) it is probably not the same person. The last portrait by Honthorst does appear to have the same basic cast of feature and the nose looks the same as in the Jamieson and noses are generally things that don’t alter very much throughout a lifetime. But the nose in the SNPG portrait looks unrelated to either. Whatd’yathink, mate? Is it the same bloke or … not? Hoping you have enough interest in the subject to reply, cheers, Brenda 🙂

  2. I think you have a point Brenda. It is probably a different bloke altogether. What do you think of the George Jamieson portrait? I quite like that one too.

  3. To me, the Jamieson seems a little distant, despite the half-smile, although it is definitely him. I like the last one by Honthurst, which is sometimes said by critics to be stiff and wooden, I don’t see that. Only question is about that version is, why is his hair so dark? I suppose the painting must need a good clean. It would be great if someone stumped up the cash and the permission to do it. Even better, if the powers that be decided to open up his tomb in St Giles and borrow his skull for a reconstruction by that woman who did Richard III – but I suppose he has too many direct descendants to allow any such thing to happen.

    I’d love to know what he really looked like – that statue in Montrose is pretty good, even if the sculptor made his hair a bit shorter than it should have been. The pose and the boots are particularly pleasing, and after seeing so many paintings that somehow don’t quite add up, it makes you think, ‘ah, yes, that is how things worked. Men could really wear this stuff.’ 🙂

  4. PS the painting you feature has also been re-attributed to Van Dyck.

  5. I don’t know if it just me and my blurry eyesight but I just looked at a photo of (or zoomed into) the scene on the left hand side of the Montrose portrait in Warwick Castle (the tented civil war camp scene with it’s small figures) and it struck me that the little figure on the extreme right (the one half obscured by the black/yellow curtain) but apparently running towards his white Andalusian horse (being held ready for him and his mounting), is wearing a crown and a robe. If this is correct and this fact could be verified by studying this background scene and the ‘crowned figure’ at closer range than I am able to from my old computer, it strongly indicates to me that it can be portraying none other than Charles 1st. Van Dyke invariably painted King Charles 1st riding his white Andalusian and so perhaps this little running background figure is no exception, I believe that this combination of clues means that he is very likely to be Charles, admittedly unusually wearing his crown (if that’s what it really is). However this is idle speculation. perhaps someone out there can help solve this conundrum. The strong bond of loyalty which Montrose held for the king would for me give reason to believe that he might wish him to be included

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