John Kay 'Captain Billair and his wife, from Edinburgh Portraits series'

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John Kay was a prolific portrait etcher and miniature painter. He was self taught, leaving the barber trade in 1785 for caricature portraiture. Kay made nearly 900 plates of almost every notable Scotsman of his era, producing a minute world of Edinburgh society.

In this work he captures Richard Billair (Dickie to his friends), Captain of the Rutland Fencible Cavalry with his wife who despite her height, insisted on wearing heels. The work is a humorous and historically rich insight into the echelons of Scottish life at the turn of the eighteenth century.

Represented at the British Museum, Yale University Library and the National Portrait Gallery, ‘Captain Billair and his wife, from Edinburgh Portraits series’ is a wonderful find for collectors of important prints and portraits.

John KAY (1742 - 1826)
'Captain Billair and his wife, from Edinburgh Portraits series' 1792
etching on paper
Image Size: 10 x 14 cm
Dimensions: 41 x 31 cm
Signed: Signed I Kay fecit 1792, lower left in plate
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Represented at The National Portrait Gallery, London, accession no: NPG D43273; Yale University Library, accession no: 792.; and the British Museum, accession no: 1935,0522.13.156.

Condition: Very Good: Describes a work of art's image as Excellent, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear to paper or frame. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to the paint surface.

© The Artist or Assignee