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The Cover
January 21, 2004

The Allen Brothers (James and John Lee Allen)

JAMA. 2004;291(3):280. doi:10.1001/jama.291.3.280

Orphaned at age seven, educated at a school for tradesmen's children, and apprenticed to an Edinburgh jeweler at age sixteen, the Scottish painter Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) became a major figure and lasting influence during the period of the Scottish Enlightenment. It was Scotland's Golden Age, a time of intense intellectual and cultural development that lasted for a generation, from about 1790 to 1820. Among its other lights were Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott in literature, David Hume and Adam Smith in philosophy and economics, James Watt and John Rennie in science, and Allan Ramsey, along with Raeburn, in the visual arts. Influenced perhaps by his apprentice training as a miniaturist, Raeburn's chosen art was the art of the portrait. He left more than a thousand. Many document the intellectual, business, and social leaders of the day, but a large number are also devoted to "ordinary people." Among his best and most loved are his portraits of children (JAMA cover, November 15, 2000).

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