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Kenneth Macleay (1802-78)

Prince Alfred, later Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900) Signed and dated 1864

RCIN 420330

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Scottish artists were particularly instrumental in the development of the portrait miniature in the nineteenth century. Andrew Robertson’s pioneering use of large, rectangular ivory plaques brought the art form closer to oil painting in scale and technique. His innovations were continued by his pupil, William Ross, who enjoyed the enthusiastic patronage of Queen Victoria. Ross’s unprecedented success led him to become the most popular international court miniaturist of the period. Kenneth MacLeay was one of the last successful miniature painters of the nineteenth century. His career suffered as a result of the rival art form of photography, but was revived after his work came to the attention of Queen Victoria in 1864.