This is a life-size portrait of Bryce McMurdo, fishing in a Scottish landscape. We know very little about him, other than he lived near Dumfries and married a Kent lady. This portrait is a great demonstration of Raeburn’s use of different brushstrokes; from the fine detail of the fishing basket to the horizontal dragging of dry white paint which depicts the shimmering water.
Lieut-Colonel Bryce McMurdo
240 x 148 cm
Date of work
Henry Raeburn was born in Edinburgh in 1756. He was mostly self-taught and went on to become the leading Scottish portrait painter of the period. He was also the first major Scottish artist to work solely in Scotland. He had his own distinctive style and liked to use a variety of techniques and brushstrokes within a single painting. After travelling to London and Italy, he returned home to Edinburgh to work on a superb and possibly very realistic record of the Scottish intellectual and social elite.