Gold-plated frame with glazed hairwork reverse.
This expressive portrait of an unknown officer of the Light Dragoons is by the Scottish artist Alexander Gallaway. Gallaway often used a column to evoke perspective in the background of his portraits, demonstrated in the present work.
Very little is known about Alexander Gallaway besides that from 1794 until his death he was based in Scotland, firstly in Glasgow and then, in 1811-12, in Edinburgh. He also exhibited at the Society of Artists in Edinburgh in 1808. His sitters varied greatly – from the emerging Scottish middle classes to personalities such as the actor Richard Brinsley Sheridan, with examples of his work found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
The white facial highlighting, particularly around the nose and across the eyes is typical of Gallaway’s style and gives the sitter a stronger individual likeness when compared to other portraits produced by miniaturists of the period.
We are grateful to Christopher Bryant for his assistance when cataloguing this work.