Henry Raeburn was one of the group of intellectuals and artists that gave Scotland its cultural standing. He painted portraits of a variety of famous Scottish personalities including Sir Walter Scott, James Hutton and David Hume. He also portrayed lesser-known people, one of them being Alexander Edgar, possibly a relative of Henrys wife Ann Edgar.This is a frontal bust portrait in which the head and white collar stand out brightly against the dark background and the barely detailed coat. This approach to portraiture arose in England in the early nineteenth century and was also much imitated on the Continent.This portrait gives a good impression of Raeburns lively style. He was able to capture the physiognomy and personality of his model in just a few broad and telling brushstrokes.