Herbert James Gunn

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Born Herbert James Gunn
(1893-06-30)30 June 1893
Died 30 December 1964(1964-12-30) (aged 71)
Nationality British
Education Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Académie Julian
Known for Landscape and portrait

Sir Herbert James Gunn RA (1893-1964) was a landscape and portrait painter.

Early life[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Portrait Herbert James Gunn

Sir Herbert James Gunn (also known as Sir James Gunn) was born in Glasgow on 30 June 1893, the son of Richard Gunn and Thomasina Munro.[1][2] He studied briefly at the Glasgow and Edinburgh Schools of Art.[3] in 1911 he went to the Académie Julian in Paris where he studied under Jean-Paul Laurens.[4] He left Paris at the outbreak of the First World War and initially joined the Artists Rifles. He subsequently received a commission in the 10th Scottish Rifles and saw active service in France.

Painting career[edit]

He began as a landscape painter and travelled widely, exhibiting Paintings of Rome etc at the Fine Art Society in 1929.[5] During the 1920s, he increasingly concentrated on portrait painting and after 1929 he devoted himself exclusively to portraits.[6] His paintings are on show in a number of galleries and his 1953 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is in the Royal Collection. He was elected President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1953, a post he held until his death. He was elected to the Royal Academy as a full academician in 1961 and was knghted for services to painting in 1963.[7][8] An 80 page catalogue of his work exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh from 3 December 1994 to 24 February, was published by National Galleries of Scotland in 1994.[9]

Family life[edit]

He married Gwendoline Thorne in 1919 and they had three daughters.[10] He divorced his first wife who ran off with Sir Arthur Whinney.[11] Gunn subsequently married Pauline Miller with whom he had a son and another daughter.[8] Pauline was the model for a number of his paintings.[3] He died in London on 30 December 1964.[12] A requiem mass was held for him at Farm Street in January 1965.[13]

Examples of his work[edit]

More than a hundred examples of his work will be found on Your Paintings


  1. ^ Your Paintings
  2. ^ The Peerage
  3. ^ a b National Galleries of Scotland
  4. ^ Online Galleries
  5. ^ Christie's
  6. ^ Panter & Hall
  7. ^ The Lynda Cotton Gallery
  8. ^ a b Eaton Square
  9. ^ Amazon
  10. ^ Richard Green
  11. ^ Paul Fraser Collectables
  12. ^ Obituary in the Daily Herald
  13. ^ Catholic Herald