This fine looking Lord, painted by William Mosman, isn’t leaping (although it would look amazing if he did in that outfit!) but he does have a fascinating history. Lord John Stuart (1713-1792) was the 3rd Earl of Bute, 8th Chancellor of Marischal College, and the first Scottish Prime minister of Great Britain. Quite a list!
All these titles did not make him a popular Lord and his unpopularity as Prime Minster, due to sustaining extortionate taxes, led to widespread Scotophobia, riots, and eventually to him leaping out of office and resigning in 1763. A particularly telling nickname for him among his peers and the wider public was ‘Sir Pertinax MacSycophant’ in reference to the Roman Emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax, who was murdered three months after his meteoric ascent by his own bodyguard.
The artist of this very fine portrait from the museums’ collection, William Mosman (1700-1771), was an Aberdonian portrait and landscape painter, who studied under William Aikman and in Rome under Francesco Imperiali alongside his fellow Scotsman Allan Ramsay. He in turn became a teacher, teaching drawing at both King’s and Marischal College during the 1760s.