Scottish painter. He is perhaps the best known of all Scottish painters, with a critical reputation rivalling that of Allan Ramsay. He was almost exclusively a portrait painter, and his work did much to define Scottish society in a period of immense vigour and intellectual distinction. The demand for his work was sufficient to sustain a career wholly in Scotland, although he occasionally regretted his lack of first-hand knowledge of portrait painting in London. His working life, which was largely confined to Edinburgh, coincided with the Neo-classical expansion towards the north of the medieval city.
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