Completed Portraits: British 18th C, Portraits: British 19th C, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 13 Is Charles Macintosh the sitter of this portrait by Henry Raeburn?

Topic: Subject or sitter

This looks a great deal like Charles Macintosh (1766–1843) of rubber and waterproof clothing. I know Sir Henry Raeburn painted a large portrait of his 'Charles Macintosh and Company' Partner, Thomas Hancock (1786–1865). Charles Macintosh was a wealthy and famous Scot in his day living in Scotland and a member of the RSA and Scottish Academies.

My ancestor was Thomas Hancock (1786–1865), and his full portrait was painted by Sir Henry Raeburn near his death around 1823. This painting was sold and identified as by Sir H. Raeburn in I believe 2007 and is well documented. [See:]

When my Cousin Francis James in Marlborough first saw the portrait of his ancestor Thomas Hancock, he at first even thought that it was a portrait of Charles Macintosh, RSA and not Thomas, by Raeburn.
If you compare other portraits of Charles Macintosh you will see easily the similarity.

Could anyone confirm the sitter of portrait 'Head of a Man' to be Charles Macintosh (1766–1843)?

David Eustace, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

This painting is now listed as a copy after Henry Raeburn of Archibald Smith of Jordanhill.

Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. If you are new to this discussion, please see the comments below that led to this conclusion. If you have any new information please propose a new discussion by following the Art Detective link on the artwork's Art UK page.


Museums Sheffield,

We have recently been informed that this painting is after Raeburn and depicts Archibald Smith of Jordanhill.

Osmund Bullock,

Are we *sure* this is after the Raeburn of Smith? If so, it's a terrible copy. The mouth, the eyes, the nose, the chin, the shadows are all very different - it wouldn't occur to me that it was the same man/likeness if it were not for the angle of the head, the clothing at the neck and the outline of the hair at the top.

Bruce Trewin,

While there are similarities in pose I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that this is necessarily the same person depicted. See attached comparison.

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Osmund Bullock,

Repeating Bruce's very useful exercise with an image* of Charles Macintosh, I'm afraid I can very little similarity to our sitter.

*I can find only one basic type online, deriving from a mezzotint after John Graham-Gilbert.

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Martin Hopkinson,

For a typical Graham- Gilbert see the portrait of Professor William Richardson in the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow

Barbara Bryant,

Perhaps Museums Sheffield could let us know the evidence for their new identification of the portrait as Archibald Smith of Jordanhill after Raeburn. This might help what seems to be an impasse in this discussion.

Museums Sheffield,

The painting was seen by a leading Raeburn expert who identified it as a VERY poor copy of the portrait of Archibald Smith of Jordanhill.

Barbara Bryant,

Thank you, Sheffield. Unless anyone has anything else to add to the discussion, I think we are close to concluding it. The original question has been answered: the head does not show Charles Macintosh and is more likely to be, as the collection says, a poor copy of Raeburn's
Archibald Smith.