Bethia Russell

Alexander Gallaway


This strongly coloured portrait of a lady in an orange dress and pearls is traditionally held to portray Bethia Russell (1726-1810).

Born in Edinburgh, Bethia Campbell was heiress to her father’s estate in Stirlingshire. Upon announcing her marriage in October 1751 to John Russell (1710-1796), Writer to the Signet of Scotland (a private society of solicitors), the Caledonian Mercury described her as ‘a young lady of great beauty’. The family home was 16th century Roseburn House in Edinburgh (close to where Murrayfield Stadium is now situated). Part of the original house is still lived in today as a family home.

The portrait is set in the original gold frame that is glazed on the back to reveal tan leather.

Scottish-born, Alexander Gallaway began his career as a miniaturist in Glasgow but soon moved to Edinburgh where he would undoubtedly have hoped to attract a wider clientele. He exhibited at the Society of Artists in Edinburgh.

Item Ref. 6243

Size: framed, 83 x 68mm + hanger