The splendidly named James Pittendrigh McGillivray was an important Scottish sculptor, best known for work done in the early twentieth century. His monument to W.E. Gladstone in Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, unveiled in 1917, is a prominent example (see Benedict Read, Victorian Sculpture, Yale, 1982, pls. 469-71). Since such work is typical of its period, it is astonishing in the present picture, painted in 1881 when he was already twenty-five, to find him working in a style reminiscent of David Scott (see lots 302, 310) or even Alexander Runciman (1736-1785). Not only does the idiom recall some late exponent of the grand manner but the subject itself looks back to the early Romantic era. It was treated, for example, by both Runciman brothers, Alexander and his younger sibling John, as well as by George Romney. Another Scot, William Dyce, had exhibited a version of the subject at the Royal Academy in 1851 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).