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Art in Scotland
Chapter IV


IN evidence of the growing taste for art on the part of the Scottish nobility during the late sixteenth century, may be mentioned the extravagant Regent Morton, who in 1573, being lord of an ample fortune, "maintained his retinue with the dignity of moderation in food and aparrell, converting both publique and private riches to honour and magnificence, erecting that palace of Dalkeith to his no small charge, adorning it with tapestry and incomparable pieces of art, so that its splendour soars to a majesticall statlinesse." [History of Scotland during the Minority of King James. London, 1646.] Sixteen years later, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy, who had a craze for building and decorating, spent a considerable portion of his ample means in hiring artists to decorate his house at Taymouth, or Balloch as it was then called, and which at a later period became the repository of many of the family and other portraits, by Jamesone of Aberdeen and various artists. Twelve years later, the Marquis of Huntly, in rebuilding his castle of Strathbogie, had it decorated also; and according to the Statistical Account, most of the apartments were then in a tolerable state of preservation, particularly the ceilings, which were ornamented with a variety of paintings in small divisions, containing emblematic figures. Similar work was also about the same time executed for the laird of Edzell, in his house on the Esk in Forfarshire, the roof of which was richly decorated, and so lately as the middle of the present century, showed traces of its former grandeur, with the Gothic inscription of "Ye Temple of Honour." About the same period, the lower hall of Borthwick Castle was also built and decorated; seven panels from the ceiling of Dean House (1614) are preserved in the Museum of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries; the ceiling of an old house at Linlithgow, demolished in 1867, contained the heraldic blazons of fifteen barons and twenty-two earls [Figured in Scottish Antiquaries' Proceedings, vol. vii.] and of a later period, the painted gallery of Pinkie House contains elaborate decorations accompanied by moral apophthegms. [Description in Billings's Antiquities.] Some curious decorations in black and white, of about 1620, are described as existing on the ceiling of Earlston Hall in Fifeshire; figures of Faith, Hope, &c., are accompanied by those of animals, the species being named: thus, a figure of a sheep is inscribed "Ane sort of ane Shep," and a sow and pig "Svyn Baib "-i.e., swine and babe. [Scottish Antiquaries' Proceedings.]

It must, however, be understood that these were exceptional cases, entirely confined to the wealthier nobles. We have it on the authority, among others, of the Spanish ambassador of Ferdinand and Isabella, that society in Scotland was then in a very rude condition, the natives spending all their time in wars, and when there was no war, fighting with one another; and the king residing little in towns, occupying his time in moving from castle to abbey, administering justice, and on other affairs of the state. Art could hardly be appreciated to any great extent by a people, many of the better class of whom were not very particular about cleanliness and dress, and whose dwellings, even among high families, were often limited to the accommodation which was afforded by a square tower with its adjuncts, containing rooms as destitute of comfort as they were of elegance. When the Unfortunate Mary arrived in Edinburgh in 3563, the palace of Holyrood, so different from the aspect which it now presents, was one of the few exceptions, as it had only a few years earlier been so far completed by James V., and probably fitted up with all the, at that time, modern conveniences. The art of printing had only some fifty years previously been introduced into Scotland, and began to be applied to the aid of our national literature; and although our poets had before this produced many works of great excellence and beauty, the art of the painter as a profession can hardly be said to have existed. Whatever taste and love for art Queen Mary had acquired during her residence in France, must have received a sad shock when she saw how little respect it received in Scotland, even in the art of the architect, which had developed our noblest abbeys and cathedrals.

In the popular demonstration which was got up by the citizens of Edinburgh two weeks after her arrival, we have some idea of the taste of the people. The description of part of the pageant relates how, "when hir grace came fordwart to the butter-trone of the said burgh, the nobilitie and convoy fordsaid precedand, at the whilk butter-trone thair was ane port made of tymber in maist honourable maner, cullourit with fyne collouris, hungin with syndrie armes, upoun the whilk port wes singiend certane barneis in the maist hevinlie wyis: under the whilk port thair wes ane cloud opynnand with four levis, in the whilk was put ane bonny barne. And when the quenes hienes was cumand throw the said port, the said cloud opynnit, and the barne discendit down as it had bene ane angell, and deliverit to her hienes the keyis of the town, togidder with ane Bybill and anc psalme-buik covert with fyne purpourit velvet; and after the said barne had spoken some small speitches, he deliverit alsua to hir hienes three writtingis the tenour thairof is uncertane." This being done, "the barne ascendit in the cloud, and the dud stekit."  [Chambers's Domestic Annals.]

Of the ill-starred Queen Mary, it is doubtful if we can authenticate a single portrait as having been done from life. It is known that in her youth, in France, she sat to the Court painters Janet and Porbus; and in the collection of Charles I. there was a small whole-length mentioned in the catalogue as the work of "Jennet," and brought from Scotland. [Pinkerton's Portraits.] It is probable that her earliest portrait from life was done by François Clouet, called Janet or Jehannet, Court painter to Henry II. of France, and painted, according to Prince Labanoff, about 1555, for the purpose of sending to her mother, Mary of Guise in Edinburgh. Concerning this portrait, Prince Labanoff mentions the drawing in the possession of the Earl of Carlisle as being the type; but this is doubted, the drawing showing her as if at a much more mature age—she being then only thirteen or fourteen. The portrait painted by Peter Porbus, in France, also from life, may not improbably be the one which Prince Labarioff possesses in his collection at St Petersburg. It was bought in Paris during the first Revolution, and represents her in the dignity of Queen of France; but notwithstanding the most ingenious re- search, it is difficult to put one's finger, as already said, on a well- authenticated portrait, and it is a poor test of the genuineness of any to be referred to the sculptured figure on her tomb, executed after death. M. Teulet has noted the fact that on the 13th February 1566-67 a payment was made to Jehan de Court, who succeeded Janet as Court painter to the French king. [Among the gentlemen attached to Queen Mary's household, Miss Strickland also mentions this Jehan de Court as receiving £240 per annum.—Queens of Scotland, vol. iv.] The many claims put forward on behalf of portraits painted during her confinement in Scotland and England will not bear the light of investigations which have been made. Among her many portraits may, however, be mentioned that which was bequeathed by Elizabeth Curle to the Scotch College at Douai, and described in her will as "un grand portrait de Sa Majeste vetu comme elle etoit a son martyre." [Sir Duncan Campbell, from MS. of Rev. John Farquharson, President of the Douai College, 1793. Letter to the 'Standard,' March 6, 1888.] This portrait, an often copied one, was intrusted by the Rev. Mr Farquharson, President of the Douai College, to the care of a niece of Martin of Douai, during the time of the Reign of Terror. She concealed it in a condemned chimney-vent, from whence it was removed by Mr Farquharson to the English convent at Paris, where it remained till 1831, when the late Dr Paterson, Catholic Bishop of Edinburgh, then in Paris, brought it over to Scotland, and it was deposited in Blairs College. Of the many spurious portraits which exist, a great number must be assigned to the brushes of a son of Sir John Medina and John Alexander. The late David Roberts, the distinguished artist, used to relate that when a boy he was frequently sent messages by his master to an artist in Edinburgh called Robertson, who lived by doing portraits of Queen Mary, Prince Charles, and suchlike. The queen's portraits he varied by a red or black dress, or otherwise, a favourite inscription on the back being, "From the original in the King of France's closet," unless an original was wanted, in which case the portrait received the proper quantity of smoke and varnish. [The late James Drummond, R.S.A. Communicated to Scottish Antiquarian Society.]

Although neither painter, sculptor, nor architect, a Scottish artist of another kind is worthy of mention in connection with the life of Queen Mary. This was "Johnne Achesoun, Maister Cunyeour," who figures largely in the history of the Scottish coinage, and who went to Paris for the purpose of cutting dies with portraits of the young Queen Mary, in 1553, for the only known coins of that date. These were used for the extremely rare testoon and half-testoon bearing heads of the queen, and the fact of his visit is accurately registered in the French archives of the period. Numerous small portraits were at different times given by the queen to her friends. Thus, on the 9th of January 1575, she wrote to the Archbishop of Glasgow and Cardinal of Lorraine for a costly present for Elizabeth. The same letter contains the following passage: "Il y a de mes amis en ce pays qui demandent de mes peinctures. Je vous prye m'en faire faire quatre, dont ii fauldra qu'il en soyent quatre (sic) enchassez en or; et me les envoyez secrètement, et le plus tost que pourrez."A curious anecdote occurs in the Hawthornden MS. of about the same time, rather earlier, in which Jean de Court's name appears connected with the queen's household. "Queen Marie having sent UOfl anc brode the portrait of her husband Henry and her owne, wt. the portraite of David Ricci in prospective, to the Cardinall of Lorraine, her uncle, he praised much the workmanship and cunning of the painter; but having asked what hee was that was drawen by them, and hearing it was her secre tarye, 'Je voudrois (said hee) qu'on oistoit ce petit vilain de Ia! Qu'a ii a faire d'estre si pres?' After the slaughter of Ricci, one told him that the Scots had done what he desired. 'Car ils avoyent osté le petit vilain aupres de la Royne.' "

The poor queen's love for art seems to have afforded her the means of whiling away many a weary hour during her captivity, by the sewing of tapestry and suchlike work, many specimens of which are still preserved, and the arranging of the colours in which, we are told, helped to distract her mind from thinking constantly on her unfortunate condition.

Among the numerous doubtful relics preserved at Holyrood is a small Madonna rising above a sea in which a dolphin is sporting, and which vulgar tradition sometimes attributes to her pencil. The picture is painted in oil on a slab of marble or alabaster, and with the exception of most of the upper part of the figure, is nearly quite obliterated. It is skilfully painted, rather Italian in style and manipulation, and probably formed a part of the furnishings of a private altar brought with her from France, and overlooked in the vigilant search of the Regent Murray—a supposition suggested by the nature of the subject and the introduction of the dolphin. The extreme state of popular feeling manifested during the Reformation period is a reason why even small works of this kind have not been preserved. A follower of the Roman Catholic faith would encounter risk as well as personal danger in attempting to preserve any work whatever, and it is probably to one of these that an entry in the burgh records of Glasgow refers under date 1574. The entry is in reference to a dispute about some goods which were claimed by a Maister Robert Herbertson as heir to his mother's property, and was settled "in ane court of ye toon, halden be James Hamilton of Torrens, prouest of Glasgw." One of the articles in dispute is described in the record as "ane brod, paynted upon ye samyn ye image of our Lady. Pryce yairof xvi s'

The reign of the sixth James was a little more auspicious for art, which he seemed willing to encourage so far as his own miserliness and a parsimonious Parliament would permit. He was fond of pageantry; and when as a boy-king he summoned his Parliament at Edinburgh in 1579, and made his first public entry into his capital, as if in anticipation of this taste great preparations were made. He was received at the West Port by the magistrates under a pall of purple velvet. An allegory of "King Solomon, with the twa wemen," was displayed, symbolical of kingly wisdom. "The haill streets were spread with flowers, and the forehouses of the streets by the whilk the king passit were all hung with magnific tapestry, with painted histories, and with the effigies of noble men and women." Some efforts at historical painting seem to have been attempted, as, according to Hume of Godscroft, Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, had a gallery built for himself, which he decorated with portraits. He also began the great gallery of the old palace of Scone, the roof of which contained groups of figures in ovals with ornamental borders, each group containing a portrait of the king on horseback, surrounded by his attendants. This Ruthven probably acquired his taste in Italy, as, after the mysterious conspiracy with which he was so fatally connected, a curious emblem or impresa which he had left was found hanging in a dancing academy in Padua, and which was transmitted to the king by Ottavio Baldi from Venice.' Under this reign the house of Raveistone was built by George Fowlis, on the ceiling of the principal chamber of which were painted the amusements and occupations of people during the twelve months of the year in compartments, each distinguished by the corresponding sign of the zodiac. The centre was occupied by a group of angels in a circle performing a vocal and instrumental concert, in which a bagpipe is introduced.

The old Chapel Royal at Stirling has been already slightly referred to, and on the 19th of February 1594, the noble and most potent Prince of Scotland "was born in the castle of Striuiling upon Tuesday, upon which occasion the King's Majestie sent for the nobles of his land, and to all the capitall burrows thereof, to haue their aduise how he should proceed for the solemnization of his royal baptisme, and what princes he should send too.

Because the Chapell Royall was ruinous and too little, concluded that the old chapell should be utterly rased and a new erected in the same place. . . . These propositions at length considered, they all, with a voluntarie delibiration, graunted unto his Majestie the summe of an hundred thousand pounds money of Scotland." Many ambassadors were invited from foreign countries, and after consequent delays, chiefly caused by the ambassador from England, the baptism was performed on the 30th of August 1594. The Chapel Royal on the occasion was richly hung with costly tapestries. Part of the entertainment consisted of a chariot "which should have been drawne in by a lyon, but because his presence might have brought some fears to the nearest, or that the sight of the lights and torches might have commoued his tamenes," a Moor supplied its place. It is hoped that the Moor aggravated his roaring to the pitch resolved upon by Bottom the weaver at the nuptials of Theseus and the fair Hippolyta. As would naturally be expected, numerous portraits were painted in Scotland in the latter part of the sixteenth century, the dates of which can only be guessed by the probable ages of the persons represented. Among such may be mentioned those of Esme Stewart, first Duke of Lennox, the most worthy and innocent of the favourites of James VI. ; John, Earl of Mar, Regent of Scotland; his brother, Sir Alexander Erskine of Gogar, —by painters unknown, which, with that of John, High Treasurer, were all in the Alva collection before it was scattered by civil war and forfeiture.

At Lauder Castle was a portrait, now the property of Baroness de Eresby, of State Secretary Maitland of Lethington, who died in 1573. It is ascribed to Mireveldt. If so, it must have been painted after death, as that artist was not born till 1567. To these may be added a half-length portrait of a man in the costume and armour of about the same period, badly restored, which was formerly in Stirling Castle, attributed to the school of Clouet.

Among the many uses to which the art of painting is still applied is that of appealing to the vulgar taste by exhibiting pictures and painted banners, fortunately now confined to a humorous kind, and political demonstrations and processions. A rude picture often conveys, at a glance, an idea or incident more forcibly than a printed pasquinade, and is sometimes more successful in exciting ridicule or expressing a covert insult. The toilsome but evident pleasure of the bearers of such would reach its highest intensity if it could be possible to flaunt these in the presence of the persons burlesqued or satirised; and if the prominent leaders of either of the now contending political factions could possibly have been guilty of some of the atrocities so often executed unpunished in the good old times, it is easy to understand how a painted representation, no matter how rudely done, would excite popular passion. Queen Mary is known to have been the victim of rude caricatures circulated in Edinburgh, and after the meeting of the factions of Morton and Bothwell at Carberry Hill, among the other insults which she received, had displayed before her a black banner, on which was painted a ghastly representation of the young prince kneeling beside the body of the murdered Darnley, with the motto, "Judge and avenge my cause, 0 Lord." Fourteenth-century Italian history presents us with a parallel case, when the dominion of the young and equally unfortunate Joanna of Naples was invaded by Louis of Hungary, whose followers bore a like standard showing the murder of her husband Andreas.' Another instance in which native art was applied to a somewhat similar purpose is carefully related by Calderwood as occurring in i2, when, on "the 8th of Februar, Edinburgh (was) full of mourning and lamentation, earlie in the morning, for a cruell murther committed in the night before, upon the Erie of Murrey, by the Erie of Huntlie. He went out of Edinburgh from the king, and that same night sett the hous of Dunnybrissil on fire, so that the Erie of Murrey was forced to come furth, and was discovered by some sparkes of fire in his knapskall, and so was killed and cruellie demained. The Shireff of Murrey was likewise killed.

 The Erie of Murrey's mother, accompanied with her friends, brought over her sonne's and the Shireff of vlurrey's deid corps, in litters, to Leith, to be brought from thence to be buried in the yle of the Great Kirk of Edinburgh, in the good Regent's tombe; and, as some report, to be made first a spectacle to the people at the Croce of Edinburgh But they were stayed by command of the king. Captain Gordon was left for dead at Dinnybrissel : his hatt, his purse, his gold, his weapons, were taikin by one of his owne companie; his shankes were pulled off. He was taikin in to the Erie of Murrey's mother, and was cherished with meate, and drinke, and clothing. A rare exempie! She brought him over with her sonne's corps, to seeke justice. The Erie of Murrey's mother caused draw her sonne's picture as he was demained, and presented it to the king in a fyne lane cloath, with lamentatiouns, and earnest sute for justice. But little regard was had to the mater," as for various reasons the king retained a hatred to the murdered Earl.

Every reader of Scottish history is familiar with the like application of "criminal art," as it might be called, at an earlier period, in the case of the brutal Highland chief MacDonald, who, after robbing a poor woman of her cow, nailed horse-shoes on her feet, that she might the easier, as he said, carry her complaint to the king, and who in xo, with twelve accomplices, expiated their crime by being shod in the same manner, and exhibited to the public for three days previous to their execution, habited in a robe on which was painted a representation of the brutal outrage perpetrated on the poor woman.

The medieval custom of reversing the shield of a knight who had been disgraced or had incurred dishonour, is in a manner shown as being applied in another form, and also illustrates the popularity of painting in Scotland at the period. This was applied to the case of Sir James Johnston, who was made Warden of the West Marches after the battle of Dryfe-sands in 1593, concerning whom, on account of the constantly recurring troubles in Dumfriesshire, it is chronicled that on the 27th of May 1598 "the Laird of Johnstown his pictor (was) hung at the crosse (of Edinburgh), with his heid dounwart, and declarit ane mansworne man."

A tragic and curious story is often erroneously quoted from Pitcairn's 'Criminal Trials.' A town officer of Edinburgh, named Archibald Cornwall, having seized some furniture for debt, had it removed for sale to the Market Cross, near to which stood the public gibbet. The record of the affair tells us that on "the same day (April 27, 16oi) Archibald Cornell, towne officer, (was) hangit at the crosse, and hung on the gallows 24 hours; and the caus quhairfore he wes hangit: he being an unmereciful, greidie creatur, he poyndit ane honest manis hous, and amongst the rest, he poyndit the king and queins picturis; and quhen he came to the crosse to compryse the same, he hung thame up upone twa naillis on the same gallows, to be comprysit; and thai being sene, word gead to the king and queine, quhairupone he wes apprehendit and hangit." The grim tragedy was not a sudden ebullition of anger on the king's part, and is a striking example of his cruel cold-blooded nature. The "tressonable fact" occurred on the 15th of April, and the trial, proceeding with all the formalities of the law, was held on the 25th, two days after which he was executed. It does not seem even to have been proved that he did more than entertain the intention of hanging the portraits, as he was only "preissing to haif hung the same" on the gallows, but was prevented by the bystanders warning him of the indiscretion and his consequent danger; and it has been noted that the assize included eight tailors, probably hangers-on at the Court for Court patronage. It is added that, on returning from the execution, the town council made it law "that nane of their Majesties or Graces pictures or portraits be poyndit, roupit, or comprysit for any manner of cause."

It is during the reign of James VI. that the first mention appears of the appointment of a Court painter proper in Scotland, "with all fees, duties, and casualties, usit and wont "—an appointment now recognised in the form of the Queen's Limner for Scotland. This office was held by Arnold Bronkhorst, or Arthur van Brownchurst as he is sometimes called, a Fleming who is said to have come to Scotland associated with some others, with whom the name of Nicholas Hilliard, goldsmith and miniature-painter to Queen Elizabeth, is sometimes connected. It is stated that these came in order to make efforts for working the gold-mines of Lanarkshire; but the details are obscure, and to some extent rest on tradition. Some gold, however, found its way into Arnold's pocket in another manner than as a member of a speculative gold company, as it is known that he received sixty-four pounds for painting three portraits—viz., "ane portrait of his Majesty fra the belt upward, ane portrait of his Majesty full length," and "ane other portrait of Maister George Buchanan,"—besides the gift of a hundred merks "as ane gratitude for his repairing to this country." [Chambers's Domestic Annals. Another painter of the name of Bronkhorst, but named John, born at Utrecht in 1603, appears in connection with Scottish portraiture as the painter of a portrait of Sir Conrad Ruthven, a Scottish knight of about 1650, published in 1744 in the "Recucil d'Estampes d'apres les tableaux de M. Boyer d'Aguilles, a Aix," and reproduced by Pinkerton in 1795.]

Another artist of humbler pretensions, but possibly of better art, may be noticed of this period, although only a caligraphist. Her name was Esther Inglis (sometimes called Anglois, Anglus, and Langlois), and Scottish records usually mention her as a Frenchwoman settled in Edinburgh, while Al. Michel refers to her as being established in France, but surely of a Scottish family. She was born in France in 1571, from whence her father, Nicholas Langlois, a Huguenot, and her mother, Marie Prisott, fled with their infant children after the atrocious St Bartholomew Massacre of 24th August 1572. It is surmised that the family were related to a Protestant minister, Jean Langlois, who was martyred at Lyons in the year of the massacre. They settled in Edinburgh, the treasurer's accounts of which show that Nicholas and his wife were paid for teaching in the French school there, between 1578 and 1585. She was married in Edinburgh about 1596 to Bartholomew Kello, although continuing to retain her maiden name, and removed to London, after which her husband became "Cure' de Willingale-Spayne," near Chelmsford, to which he had been collated in 1607 by the king, who was patron. Kello's father was the first Presbyterian minister of the parish of Spott in East Lothian, and in a fit of madness strangled his wife, for which he suffered the extreme penalty of the law in 1570. In the Sloane Collection of the British Museum there is a little MS. "escrit a Lislebourg par Esther Langlois, Françoise 1586." The Bodleian Library contains 'Les Proverbes de Solomon,' beautifully written in French of about the date 1624, in which the headings and endings of the chapters and the margins are decorated with pen-and-ink drawings, in addition to the arms of the Earl of Essex, to whom the volume is dedicated. Other drawings are at Christ Church, Oxford, one being dated from Edinburgh 1599. Her portrait by herself in pen and ink is reproduced in the sixth volume of the 'Proceedings of the Scottish Antiquaries'; another in oil is in the Scottish Portrait Gallery, inscribed "Anno Domini iç "—a curious picture, in which she is represented wearing a tall black hat, with a "piped" collar, holding a book and a fan. She died in 1624 or 1625. [Proceedings of Scottish Antiquaries; Michel's Ecossais en France, &c.]

As an instance of James VI.'s love for art—which was somewhat curbed by the jealous zeal of the Northern Presbyterians regarding "the hanging of pensils and brods, and offering of honours and arms and suchlike scandalous monuments in the Kirk "—when the Scottish emulator of Solomon took a fancy to have the chapel of Holyrood decorated for his reception in 1617 with pictures and wood-carvings, the rumour filled the Presbyterians with alarm. He had arranged to send a cargo of these from London, but on becoming aware of the feeling which existed in Edinburgh and made known to him by his advisers, he withheld the consignment, and instead of sending the images and pictures, wrote the Presbyterians a lengthy letter, or rather a lecture, in which he said, "We were at first afraid that some of the directors or workmen had been Papists, and so without our knowledge had intended there to erect such idolatrous images and painted pictures as those of that profession had been in use to adore." He then gives as reasons for not proceeding with the work, "the difficulty and longsomeness thereof," and adds, "Do not deceive yourselves with a vain imagination of anything done therein for ease of your hearts or ratifying your error of your judgment of that graven work; which is not of an idolatrous kind like to images and painted pictures adored and worshipped by Papists, but merely intended for ornament and decoration of the place wherein we shall sit, and might have been wrought as well with figures of lions, dragons, and devils as with those of patriarchs and apostles. But as we must wonder at your ignorance, and teach you thus to distinguish the one and the other, so are we persuaded that none of you would have been scandalised or offended if the said figures of lions, dragons, and devils had been carved and put up in lieu of those of the patriarchs and apostles." Calderwood gives some further details concerning the statues of the apostles and evangelists, from which we must infer that these were actually placed in Holyrood, ready to be gilded and set up, and quotes a letter from the Bishop of Galloway to Mr Patrick Simpson, minister of Stirling, in which he says, "Concerning images, we have gotten them discharged, upon a letter we wrote; . . . but yet with a sharp rebuke, and check of ignorance, both from his Maj. and Canterberrie, calling our skarring at them, scandalum accep/um, sed non datum." The bishop, however, took his physic with a good grace, as he adds, "We bear the reproof the more patiently, because we have obtained that which we craved."

The work done at Holyrood on this occasion seems to have been directed by an Englishman—Nicholas Stone; and, in fact, there does not appear the name of a Scottish artist in connection with the Court of James in England, although many of the Scottish nobility were painted by foreigners—among whom were Paul van Somer, Cornelius Jansen, and Daniel Mytens, all good painters of their time. The diary of this Nicholas Stone, discovered by Virtue, and partly published by Walpole, gives the following entry under date July 1616: "Sent into Scotland, where I undertook to do work in the King's Chapple and for the King's Clossett, and the Organ, so much as came to 450l. of wainscote worke, the which I performed, and had my money well payed; and 50l was given to drink, whereof I had 20l. given me by the King's command"—drink-silver being often a prominent item of expenditure in such works. Among the assistants employed in his work generally by Stone, appears the name of John Schuman, who executed the monument to Lord Belhaven in the Abbey Chapel at Holyrood.

An interesting passage in the anonymous correspondence to Sir George Bowes indicates the presence of a foreign artist in Stirling, while the young king, James VI., was detained by the influence of Morton. The writer says—" The Flemish painter is in Stirling, in working of the king's portraiture, but expelled forth of the place at the beginning of thir troubles. I am presently travelling to obtain him licence to see the king's presence thrice in the day, till the end of the work; quhilk will be no sooner perfected nor nine days, after the obtaining of this licence." Such a portrait was lent to the "Stuart Exhibition" in London in 1889 by the Hon. R. Baillie Hamilton, and may possibly have been done by De Heere of Ghent (1534.1584), who is said to have painted two portraits of Lord Darnley, husband of Queen Mary, and his brother Charles Stewart, afterwards father of the Lady Arabella.

If we consider the many vicissitudes which the country underwent up till and long after this period, it is not a matter of wonder that so few remains of art exist in Scotland. To these were now added very extensive removals to London, not only by James and his successors, but no doubt by the Scottish gentry, who followed the Court. The already mentioned Holyrood altarpiece is an instance, the importance and historical nature of which served to identify it; but how many other works may also have been removed, and no traces of their identity left, it is impossible even to guess. Art at all times, and more especially in the far past, has only flourished under the patronage of the wealthy, and mostly under the influence of a king and Court; and so, for a time at least, whatever artists we may have had, found that a country with no Court, and where wealth had not yet been amassed by trade and commerce as in the present day, was but a sorry mart to which to confine the sale of their work, or wherein they could expect much employment or remuneration.


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