ONE day in the early 1800s, Sir Duncan Campbell, captain in H.M. Third Scots Fusilier Guards, donned his scarlet coat, carefully adjusted his black-and-white stock, tied on his red sash, buckled on his sword, and presented himself at Henry Raeburn's Edinburgh studio on York Place. As was his custom, Painter Raeburn squinted at his subject from under his heavy eyebrows, then boldly painted in Campbell's forehead, chin, nose and mouth directly on the canvas. Four or five visits later, the portrait (opposite) was done.

Young Campbell's portrait made him one of a distinguished company. Raeburn, an orphaned son of a Scottish millowner...

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