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David Prophet Ramsay (1888-1944) - Early 20th Century Oil, The Artist's Mother



Sulis Fine Art is proud to present this superb early 20th century portrait by the Scottish artist David Prophet Ramsay (1888-1944). A prominent portrait artist, Ramsay studied at Glasgow School of Art studying under Greiffenhagen and Artot.

In this particularly fine portrait the artist has captured his mother, Jean Ann Prophet. The sensitive brushstrokes and subtle tones display Ramsay's obvious flair for portraiture. This work demonstrates both his skill in oil, and the subtle shading of form. Ramsay produced a similar oil of his father Alexander Ramsay, and various other family members.

Ramsay enjoyed a successful career, opening his own studio and in 1930 he was commissioned to paint the then Princess Elizabeth (subsequently HM Queen Elizabeth II). David was a member of the Perthshire Art Association and the Dundee Art Society, of which he was elected President in 1930.

This beautiful portrait is finely presented in an ornate swept gilt frame. With acthensus leaf detail and alternating palmette moulding.

Signed. On canvas on stretchers.


The condition is typical for a picture of this age including some craqueleur and light discolouration. Inspection under UV light reveals some minor touches of restoration, noticeably areas of very small patches of overpainting to the background. The painting has been heavily varnished and has a shiny appearance. There are a few minor losses and marks to the frame moulding. With some areas of repair to the frame. Overall the condition is good.


60 x 49cm (23.6" x 19.3")
Framed Size: 80 x 68.5cm (31.5" x 27")

Artist Biography

David Prophet Ramsay was born the sixth and youngest child of Alexander Ramsay and his wife Jean Ann Prophet in 1888. In 1909 David went to study at Glasgow School of Art where he studied under Greiffenhagen and Artot. His talent was quickly realized and he won the Haldane Travel Scholarship, the top prize for a senior student. Ramsay used this prize to visit Belgium, Holland, France and Italy in 1913, just before the outbreak of World War I. Ramsay joined the 4th Battalion, The Black Watch in December 1916. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Pilcken Ridge just weeks after he was promoted to Lieutenant. Ramsay suffered serious injuries and was was nearly left for dead but for a Canadian doctor who saved his life. During his time in the army Ramsay produced a series of caricatures of his fellow officers. He used the pseudonym “Sam Ray” for these sketches. Ramsay was a member of the Perthshire Art Association and the Dundee Art Society. He exhibited his work accross the UK, most notably at the Royal Academy, Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. Ramsay's work is held in several public collections. He died at his home in 1944.

More Information
Code kk989
Artist David Prophet Ramsay (1888-1944)
Date Early 20th Century
Dimensions 60 x 49cm
Framed Yes
Medium Oil
Style Realism
Subject Portrait
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