John Alexander (painter)

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For other people named John Alexander, see John Alexander (disambiguation).

John Alexander (1686 - c.1766)[1] was a Scottish painter and engraver of the 18th century. He studied in Italy under Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari.

Life[edit]

Portrait of John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee by John Alexander

Alexander was the son of a doctor from Aberdeen. The painter George Jamesone was his maternal grandfather.[1] He spent some time in London before going to Rome in 1711. There he studied under Giuseppe Chiari and received commissions from the exiled Stuart court.[1] Following his return to Scotland in 1720[1] he was commissioned by the 2nd Duke of Gordon (whom he had probably first met in Italy) to decorate a staircase at Gordon Castle with a painting depicting the Rape of Proserpine.[2] This was based on a work by his master, Chiari, in the Palazzo Barberini.[3] Alexander's work at the castle was later destroyed, but his sketch for the work survives in the collection of the National Gallery of Scotland.[1]

Many of his clients, including Gordon, were Jacobites, and Alexander himself took part in the rising of 1745, becoming a fugitive after the Battle of Culloden.[1] He resumed his career, however, and was working openly in Aberdeen by 1748.[4]

He was active as a printmaker, and etched some plates after Raphael's frescoes in the Loggie of the Vatican. He dedicated a set of six, dated 1717 and 1718, to Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany; Joseph Strutt wrote that they did Alexander no kind of credit, and termed them slight, loose, and incorrect etchings.[3]

The portrait painter Cosmo Alexander was his son.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Rape of Proserpine". National Galleries of Scotland. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Macinnes 2015, pp.144–5.
  3. ^ a b Long 1842–4
  4. ^ a b Macinnes 2015, p147.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]