For Love: An Artist’s Wife

Over the past few months of our present “solitude,” I have found ways in which to travel the world virtually to faraway art galleries. With travel curtailed and libraries, museums and art galleries closed or on reduced hours, I am grateful to all of those who work tirelessly to bring the world of art and knowledge to our homes.

The National Galleries Scotland has an extraordinary collection of short videos that prompt a deeper look into the background of an artist. I was especially taken by the portrait of Margaret Lindsay of Evelick.

This is a love story. And who can resist a romance?

The Artist’s Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, 1726 – 1782, Allan Ramsay

Allan and Margaret Ramsay lived a long and happy life together. Margaret may have lost her father’s love, but she embarked on a life of great adventure, traveling to Rome, Florence, Naples and Tivoli. They had three children, Amelia, Charlotte, and John, who lived into old age. Margaret risked everything for love and, in so doing, found her place in history.

The Artist’s Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, 1726 – 1782, Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay was one of the first Scottish artists to establish a truly international reputation. Named after his father, the renowned Scottish poet, Allan Ramsay trained in Edinburgh and London and completed his artistic education in Italy. In 1738 he established a successful studio in London, eventually becoming painter to King George III in 1761. Although his career was based in London, he made several extended trips back to Edinburgh where he also kept a studio and maintained contact with some of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

Excerpt for National Galleries Scotland

The Artist’s Wife: Margaret Lindsay of Evelick, 1726 – 1782, Allan Ramsay

9 Replies to “For Love: An Artist’s Wife”

  1. Margaret’s portrait is so moving and delicate. There is a certain melancholy to it, soft as the light. And those preparatory sketches are gorgeous, as well. Thank you for sharing this! I had never seen this painting before.

    1. I am delighted that you came for a visit, Gabriela and for your insightful comments. I agree that there is a nuance of melancholy, in her glance and in the placement of her hand. Alan Ramsey was able to capture emotional depth in his paintings. Thank you again for connecting – very much appreciated.

  2. This is a story of courage and love. Actually, she made not only a choice for love, but elected to follow her heart and, I believe, a choice that she never, ever regretted. I can’t but be fascinated by the painting, a special painting of love, I believe, by a faithful and loving husband. She not only had a long married life, but one of adventure and travel. And, I think her three children lived in a positive household! ! Good for her making a brave choice! !

    1. I agree – a very brave choice. She went against everything that was expected of her and risked losing her family. I was heartened to read that her brother, John believed in her and her husband. I understand that after the father died, there was reconciliation with her family. But in the meantime, her family grew. I’m delighted that you enjoyed this post. Sending hugs!

    1. I have missed visiting the Vancouver Public Art Gallery so have explored all of the art galleries of the world from my kitchen table. We have entered a more strict phase of Covid 19 in Vancouver. So home sweet home, really is a sweet place to be. Thank you so much for sharing my kitchen table. Hugs!

  3. Rebecca, great painting and great story about its subject told by you and the video! So good to see a long-ago painting that depicts a slice of everyday life, or at least an artistic version of everyday life.

    1. I find it hard to imagine that, in an age where women were in the background, Margaret Lindsay of Evelick defied her father, endured separation from her family, and accepted that she would left out of any will. And to elope YIKES!! What a risk-taker! I am in awe of anyone who would take a leap of faith, even with a well-known artist. She may have given up wealth, but her happy life was a treasure far greater than land, power or gold. I am so glad that you travelled back into history with me. I’m getting used to this virtual existence. Travel without the barriers of time, or location. Best of all – no jet lag!!!

      1. So courageous of Margaret Lindsay, Rebecca! Glad it worked out for her.

        And — ha 🙂 — no jet lag is indeed appealing.

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