Henry Raeburn and Adoption

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circa 1820



Raeburn was born in Stockbridge, near Edinburgh, the son of a well-to-do lawyer and businessman. He became an orphan when he was six, and was then raised by his much older brother. At 15 he was apprenticed to a goldsmith. He taught himself to paint, beginning with miniatures and progressing to full-sized portraits. He married a rich widow in 1780 and then devoted his life to painting, largely portraits of the Scottish upper class. He was strongly influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds and was similarly knighted, in 1822.


Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Dictionary of National Biography