This portrait is perhaps by an artist associated with Colvin Smith. In 1827, Smith set up as a portrait painter in Raeburn's old studio in Edinburgh and painted in the manner of the master. The sitter is John Paton, who was the founder in 1814 of a wool-spinning mill at Kilncraigs, Alloa which had developed by the twentieth century into the world-famous Patons and Baldwins knitting yarns empire. He was also the patriarch of a dynasty which was directly involved in the company until the late twentieth century. John Paton and his family lived modestly in Kilncraigs House, next to his original mill on the Brothy Burn and not far from the Old Market Place in Alloa. The house survived until 1878, when it was demolished to make way for a new mill building: the market place had gone already in 1867, replaced by the large Burnside Mill. This portrait, probably painted when he was about 70, depicts him as a plainly dressed man, though he was evidently also a formidable businessman.
Where to see this painting?
Clackmannanshire Council Museum and Heritage Service
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