About James Johnston
The sitter is James Johnston of Straiton, Midlothian, who married Mary Baillie, second daughter of William Baillie, Lord Polkemmet, a judge of the Court of Session from 1793 until 1811. The couple had a son, also called James, but the present work, which may date to about 1800, descended in the Baillie family, as did Raeburn’s portrait of Mrs. Johnston. Her portrait, acquired by Knoedler at the same time as that of her husband, was sold in 1912 to George Eastman and belongs now to the Eastman collection at the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York. Mrs. Johnston’s father and her stepmother, born Janet Sinclair, also sat for Raeburn.