John James Masquerier, R.A.

Monumental Painting by the Acclaimed JOHN JAMES MASQUERIER, R.A. Entitled “The Minstrel Singing his lay to the Duchess of Buccleugh” 1805


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Additional Information
  • Very Large 19th Century Oil Painting by JOHN JAMES MASQUERIER, (1778-1855) The Minstrel singing his lay to the Duchess of Buccleugh; from Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel, dated 1805, Oil on Canvas | Housed In its Original Gilt Plaster Frame.  THIS PAINTING WAS EXHIBITED AT THE ROYAL ACADEMY IN 1809. Measures 44″ H x 56.5″ W (Image Only); 58.25″ H x 70″ W (With Frame).

    Painting was acquired by Worthington Galleries in London at the Sotheby’s of London Old Masters Auction.  The Sotheby’s catalogue states the following: “Condition Report: The canvas has a firm relining, but elements of impasto painting still stand proud of the paint surface, which is clean, with a clear and even varnish. The painting is in overall good condition. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals sensitive restoration to an old ‘I’-shaped tear, lower left, vertically measuring 58 cm., with horizontal lines of 20 cm. at the top, and 40 cm. at the bottom. There is retouching to a small horizontal tear or surface scratch, measuring approx. 6cm., in the chests of the women standing behind the chair, right. There are also scattered networks of retouching to reduce the appearance of craquelure in several areas: in the minstrel’s leg, parts of his harp, in the figure of the boy next to him, and in the background above these two figures. There is some strengthening to the foliage seen in the window, upper left.  In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. We urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect the painting to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby’s is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Exhibited: London, British Institution, 1809, no. 97.

    Masquerier Paintings have been exhibited at Museums and Galleries throughout the world, including several exhibits at the Royal Academy in London.   Masquerier Portraits and Figurative paintings have sold at the world’s most reputable auction houses including Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips, Lawrences and William. The painting recounts one of Sir Walter Scott’s earliest epic poems, The Lay of the Last Minstrel.  The poem was a publishing phenomenon and launched Scott to instant fame. It tells of a sixteenth-century Border feud, as recounted over a century and a half later, by an aging minstrel to Ann, Duchess of Buccleuch, in gratitude for the hospitality she showed him at Newark Castle.

  • Weight








    Artist / Maker

    John James Masquerier


    19th Century




    United Kingdom










    XL (greater than 40 in.)


    The Minstrel Singing his lay to the Duchess