lady mary keith countess of wigton 1710 circle of sir john baptist medina

Lady Mary Keith, Countess of Wigton 1710; Circle of Sir John Baptist Medina.


Price

POA

Item Ref

8770

Description

Oil on canvas in an 18th century black and gilt frame.
Inscription upper left "LADY MARY KEITH, WIFE OF THE EARL OF WIGTON. Ob. 1721."
The frame has old woodworm damage but it is not active.
LADY MARY KEITH was born circa May 1695. She was the daughter of William Keith, 8th Earl Marischal and Lady Mary Drummond.
She married John Fleming, 6th Earl of Wigton, son of William Fleming, 5th Earl of Wigton and Lady Henrietta Seton, on 8 February 1710 when she was fourteen. She was his second wife.
A copperplate inscription verso says that this portrait was painted at that time.
She died in 1721 aged 26. Their daughter, Lady Clementina Fleming, born in 1719 lived to be 80, dying in 1799.
Image 8 shows her later in her life, and image 9 shows her husband; both painted by Kneller.
SIR JOHN BAPTIST MEDINA or John Baptiste de Medina (1659 - 1710) was an artist of Flemish-Spanish origin who worked in England and Scotland, mostly as a portrait painter, though he was also the first illustrator of 'Paradise Lost' by John Milton in 1688.
Medina was the son of a Spanish army captain posted to Brussels, where he was born and later trained by François Duchatel, before coming to London in 1686 and setting up his studio in Drury Lane.
Even in London he seems to have specialized in Scottish sitters, and in either 1688–89 or 1694 he moved to Edinburgh, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was encouraged and sponsored by the Earl of Melville, who he painted in London.
From 1689 Melville, like many of Medina's subjects a strong Whig, was Secretary of State for Scotland, effectively running the country for the King in London.
With little competition, Medina was the most prominent Scottish portraitist for the rest of his life, charging £5 for a head and £10 for a half-length.
His style follows the conventions of Sir Godfrey Kneller, but his portraits are often more relaxed and informal, favouring relatively bright blues and rose-reds in the clothing, and dark backgrounds. The quality of the painting can vary considerably, probably reflecting the use of his assistants.
In 1706 he was knighted, one of the last batch of Scottish knights to be created before the Acts of Union 1707. Medina died at Edinburgh in 1710. He trained his son and the more talented William Aikman, the leading Scottish portrait-painter of the next generation.
SIZE:32 x 26.75 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: * Private Collection.
* Sotheby's 13 October 2004.
*Private Collection, London.
VERSO: Old copperplate inscriprion "at the time of her marriage to the Earl of Wigton".
Two old framer's labels and a number of Sotheby's labels.

Internal Ref: 8770



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