© Lennoxlove House Ltd
||Formerly at Hamilton
Palace, South Lanarkshire, now at Lennoxlove, East Lothian
This full-length portrait of Elizabeth Gunning,
Duchess of Hamilton was painted in 1751, by Gavin Hamilton, presumably
for the sitter’s husband. It has been in the Hamilton Collection
The duchess is shown in a grey silk gown, with
coral coloured draperies, a gauze scarf knotted round her shoulders.
A greyhound places his front paws on her skirt. In the background
is a wooded landscape.
One of the beautiful Gunning sisters, Elizabeth
married the duke after a whirlwind romance in 1752. After his death
in 1758 she married 'Handsome Jack Campbell' who later became Duke
of Argyll, making her famously the wife of two dukes and the mother
of three. Gavin Hamilton the artist was a distant relative of the
ducal family. Born in Lanark in 1723, he studied in Rome and became
a pioneer of Neo-Classical painting. He is best known for his large
scale subject pictures of mythological scenes.