Featured Artist in Collection

David Martin (1737-1797)

Portrait of an Officer

Portrait of an Officer (#366) Artist: David Martin (1737-1797) David Martin was a leading Scottish painter of portraits, and he was born in Anstruther on April 1st, 1737. Martin painted over 300 portraits in his lifetime. One of the earliest independent ones is the 1767 one of Benjamin Franklin (now in the White House, Washington, DC). His most influential works depict Scottish Enlightenment figures like the chemist Joseph Black (1787) and the philosopher David Hume (1770), and noblewomen such as the Honorable Barbara Gray (1787). In 1785 he was appointed principal painter to the Prince of Wales in Scotland.

The officer depicted in this painting is seen wearing the uniform of the Sixth (or Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons; an extremely likely candidate would be William, Lord Banff, who had joined the regiment on May 2nd, 1780 and had, by 1789, attained the rank of Captain. Dr. Allan Carsewell of the Department of Armed Forces History, part of the National Museums of Scotland, has provided the information above.

Works by David Martin are collected by internationally famed museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, the H.M. Queen Elizabeth Collection in London, and other museums in Scotland, Australia, and the United States.