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John Hughes, Landscape in the Scottish borders with a lake and trees

Landscape in the Scottish borders with a lake and trees, 1826

John Hughes (1790 - 1857)

RA Collection: Art

A pen and ink sketch with wash showing a landscape in the Scottish borders with a lake and trees in the foreground and hills beyond.

Two letters in the Lawrence papers in the Royal Academy Archive reveal that this sketch is by John Hughes of Uffington who sent it to Sir Thomas Lawrence at the request of Sir Walter Scott in order to indicate the type of landscape that the artist might like to include in his portrait of the author. The sketch shows a swan lake and the Ettrick hills near Scott's home at Abbotsford in Roxburghshire, Scotland.

Lawrence was commissioned to paint Scott's portrait by George IV. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1827 (Royal Collection) and in the same year Scott, at Lawrence's suggestion, was elected Antiquary to the Academy. The portrait was applauded for it's 'contempt of fictitious details and false interest' and for showing 'the man as he is' (see W. T. Whitley, p. 130). Scott is shown seated in an armchair with a swathe of velvet drapery behind him but Lawrence did include, on the far left of the painting, a glimpse of the view from his window with the suggestion of a lake in the foreground and low hills in the background.

Object details

Landscape in the Scottish borders with a lake and trees
John Hughes (1790 - 1857)
Object type
Pen and ink with wash on wove paper

114 mm x 187 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number

Associated works of art

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