The present miniature forms part of a group of ad vivum portraits by Jacques Antoine Arlaud of The Old Pretender given to his supporters in recognition of their loyalty towards the Stuart cause. The Geneva-born artist Jacques Antoine Arlaud moved to Paris in 1688 where he became miniature painter to Philippe, Duke of Orleans who granted him an apartment in the château of St Cloud. His widely recognised skills attracted members of the exiled Stuart family gathered at St Germain.
The earliest of this group, now in a private collection, is dated April 1702; another, exhibited Edinburgh, The Arts Council of Great Britain, The Arts Council Gallery, British Portrait Miniatures, 1965, no. 153 (lent by Madam Stuart Stevenson), isdated October 1702; another, dated 1702 (without month), is in the National Galleries of Scotland, on long term loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (inv. no. PGL 297). At least four further portraits of this type are known but their dates of execution are not recorded: one formerly in the collection of the Marquis of Granville is illustrated in colour in K. Henninger-Tavcar, Miniaturporträts, Pforzheim, 1995, p. 133; another offered Christie's, London, 15 April 1997, lot 41; another sold Phillips, London, 3 July 2001, lot 38; another sold Christie's, London, 7 December 2004, lot 145.
The present work is dated May 1703 and, according to the inscription on the reverse, was given to Jacobite supporter Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat. Lovat fled Scotland following the rape and forced marriage in 1696 on the widow of the 10th Lord Fraser and was at the court of St Germain from July 1702 to 1703. He returned to Scotland to rally troops in preparation for a Jacobite rebellion but on his return to France he was accused by the exiled court of spying and imprisoned for ten years. The Fraser clan organised his escape and return to London where he remained until the first Jacobite rebellion in 1715. His new allegiance to George I led to the Jacobites being defeated and the King made him Governor of Inverness in recognition of his support. Lovat later conspired with the exiled king, tempted by the promise of a dukedom, and fought on the side of the Jacobites in the 1745 uprising. The rebellion failed and after the battle of Culloden, Lovat was found hiding in tree. He was the last person to be executed in the Tower of London, in 1747.
For a biographical note on the sitter, see lot 57.