History of Art Research Seminar: Carla van de Puttelaar | The Scougall Family, Portrait Painters in a Legal Community.

  • Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 17:15

  • Hunter Building, Hunter Lecture Theatre (017)
    74 Lauriston Place
    EH3 9DF

Carla van de Puttelaar is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University, where she researches Scottish portrait painting under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rudi Ekkart and Prof. Dr. Volker Manuth. Her work focuses on David Scougall and his son John Scougall - contemporaries of Schüneman, David Paton, Sir John Baptiste de Medina and other artists active in 17th-c. Scotland. The outcome of her research will be a pioneering monograph and catalogue raisonné of the lives and works of the Scougall artists.

Her talk is entitled  "The Scougall Family, Portrait Painters in a Legal Community. Scottish Portraiture 1650-1714"

With the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Scottish portraiture came to a rise, and one portrait painter in particular, David Scougall (1625-1685), dominated the field. He was particularly prolific in the 1660s and 1670s, receiving many commissions, mainly from members of the Scottish nobility who were often also members of the new parliament. David’s son, John Scougall (1657-1737), expanded the painting business into a larger portrait studio in the 1680s. And while John explicitly called himself a limner (= portraitist) throughout his active life, in surviving documents David Scougall is referred to as a writer.

Thorough archival research has yielded much information concerning the artists’ background, which can be identified as the legal community in Edinburgh. Many family members had legal positions and the Scougall family itself came to greater affluence in the course of the seventeenth century. The fact that David Scougall pursued two very different careers, as a writer and (subsequently) under-clerk of the Exchequer on the one hand, and as an important portrait painter on the other hand, marks his unique position in the history of portrait painting in Scotland.

The event is free and open to all.

This event is part of the History of Art Research Seminar Series of talks by guest speakers and colleagues. Find out more about the series.