David Martin (British, 1737-1797) Three-quarter length portrait of Rev Dr Alexander 'Jupiter' Carlyle of Inveresk, seated at his desk

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Lot 7
David Martin
(British, 1737-1797)
Three-quarter length portrait of Rev Dr Alexander 'Jupiter' Carlyle of Inveresk, seated at his desk

Sold for £ 9,360 (US$ 12,871) inc. premium

Fine Paintings

7 Dec 2007, 11:00 GMT

Edinburgh

David Martin (British, 1737-1797)
Three-quarter length portrait of Rev Dr Alexander 'Jupiter' Carlyle of Inveresk, seated at his desk
oil on canvas,
127 x 102cm (50 x 40 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance : The sitter's family, and by descent
    Exhibited : National Portrait Exhibition, 1867
    The Scottish Fine Art and Print Club, RSA, 1937
    Literature : 'Alexander Carlyle - Anecdotes and Characters of the Times', ed. J Kinsley, London, 1973. Illustrated as frontispiece.
    'Autobiography of Dr Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk', ed. JH Burton, London, 1910, pp595-96

    Walter Scott described him thus : "Well...the grandest demigod I ever saw was Dr Carlyle, minister of Musselburgh, commonly called 'Jupiter Carlyle', from having sat more than once for the king of gods and men to Gavin Hamilton; and a shrewd clever old carle was he, no doubt, but no more a poet than his precentor." (Burton, ed, p595)

    Carlyle himself recalled the portrait, for which he sat four times, thus in April 1770 : "My picture is now finished for the exhibition. It looks like a cardinal, it is so gorgeously dressed. It is in a pink damask night-gown, in a scarlet chair. Martin thinks it will do him more good than all the pictures he has done."

    Martin painted the sitter, and his wife, on another occasion, and Carlyle was also depicted by Skirving and Kay.

    In his youth, Carlyle had served as a volunteer in the college company, defending Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces, and then assisting Cope's army at Prestonpans in 1745. As minister at Inveresk, and later elected moderator of the general assembly, he espoused Enlightenment principles of liberal education, polite learning and religious toleration while pamphleteering for generous stipends for the ministry. Friend of Smollett, Hume and Adam Smith, his autobiography is ranked as one of the most important accounts of 18thc Scottish life and culture.
David Martin (British, 1737-1797) Three-quarter length portrait of Rev Dr Alexander 'Jupiter' Carlyle of Inveresk, seated at his desk
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