1736 Katherine Hall of Dunglass by Allan Ramsay (private collection)

This image comes from Philip Mold that sold the portrait. Excerpts from their notes follow:  "A related half-length portrait of the sitter, which has remained in the possession of the family, has been known for some time. Of this portrait Alastair Smart wrote that it already foreshadows in its combination of intimacy of characterization and decorative charm the more familiar works from Ramsay's first few years of practice in London. Up until now it has been assumed that a receipt for payment of a portrait of Katherine Hall, which has passed down in the Hall family, relates to this half-length portrait. The receipt is signed by the artist''s father and dated 31 May 1736:

Edr May 31 1736

Recieved [sic] from Ja: Lesley in name of Mr James Home Writer to Signt three Guineas for Miss Katy Halls picture by my son

Allan Ramsay. 

The payment was received just after his son's departure for London prior to his three year sojourn to Italy. In a letter, dated 25 May, the artist wrote to his travelling

Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches, Collection of Mrs.E.K.M.Jackson. .companion Dr Alexander Cunyngham, I have finishd my pictures, taken leave of most of my friends, and prepared my baggage to be sent away….

This newly emerged three-quarter length, however, reveals compositional as well as stylistic discrepancies in the treatment of the costume which would suggest that the Hall family half-length (probably the next image) was in fact painted some years after ours and adapted from it. There is a sense of the Hall half-length having been modified: the billowing pink drapery has been self-consciously truncated into compact folds; the twisting bodice has been simplified into a point; more volume has been given to the left sleeve which is now fastened with a clasp. Most significantly, however, a string of pearls has also been added across the chest and the dress appears to have been updated.

The cut and plainness of the dress in our three-quarter length compares closely with that in other pre-Italy portraits, such as Catherine Hope-Vere of c.1733 and Margaret Calderwood of 1735. By contrast the highlights in the drapery of the half-length are broader, the technique more formulaic in character and the overall glossy finish closer to that found in portraits such as Jane Nisbelt, Lady Banff, which is signed and dated 1743 and in a technique that parallels that of Thomas Hudson in the 1740s. Pertinently it was after his return from Italy that Ramsay first employed the services.”

Her mother’s portrait by Allan Ramsay can be seen here.

From historicalportraits.com/Gallery.asp?Page=Item&ItemID=963&Desc=Katherine-Hall-|-Allan-Ramsay.

1736 Katherine Hall of Dunglass by Allan Ramsay (private collection) From historicalportraits.com:Gallery.asp?Page=Item&ItemID=963&Desc=Katherine-Hall-|-Allan-Ramsay #269063 cropped

Lady Katherine’s hair and wrap trail in the wind in this portrait.

Keywords:  1736, Ramsay, Katherine Hall, Hall family, Hamilton of Bangour family, long wavy coiffure, chemise, modesty piece, U-neckline, elbow length close under-sleeves, arm bands, flared cuffs, fitted bodice, elbow length close notched sleeves, vee waistline, wrap

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