A Glaswegian Couple

Alexander Gallaway, 1798


During the 1790s, Alexander Gallaway was working in partnership with a Mr Williams, a landscape artist, from a studio in Glasgow. During the early 1800s Gallaway moved to Edinburgh where he would have hoped to attract a wider clientele.

This pair of portraits are dated 1798 and so were painted whilst Gallaway was based in Glasgow. They depict a husband and wife: the prosperous-looking gentleman with prominent features wearing a blue coat with a black collar and with his hair well-powdered; the lady wearing a classical gown with a handkerchief fill-in, her unpowdered hair worn loose with a bandeau.

The portrait of the lady is signed on the obverse ‘A. G. / 1798’ whilst the portrait of the gentleman is signed on the reverse ‘A. Gallaway / Pinxt / 1798’. They are both in fine condition and reside in the original gilt-metal (untested) frames the reverse of each with locks of hair attractively arranged with gold wire and seed pearls on opalescent glass within a foiled blue glass surround. Each miniature has a little blue glass plaque with their initials, EM and JM, laid out in seed pearls.

Item Ref. 6870

Size: framed, 85 x 68mm max.

Provenance: A Scottish family by descent