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This sketch of a 'view from Loch Portree, Skye' was done by Louis Herschel when she was 19 years old. It is signed and dated by the artist. It would very probably have been done from life on a family holiday. Other sketches by Louisa of the Scottish coast suggests this was one of a series done on the same holiday in August 1854. Louisa, as she was known to the family, was John and Margaret's 4th child (3rd daughter) and was considered by the rest of the family to be their most accomplished artist. This is one of a series of drawings she, alongside her brothers and sisters, would have done as part of her artistic education. The Herschel daughters, and the sons before they went away to school, recieved a very intensive education at home with lessons from their mother, their father, a series of governesses and a number of specialist outside tutors. While we do not have records for every year of their childhood, there does exist (in a private collection) Louisa's diary for the year 1844 and from this we can see that in 1844 those children still at home had lessons in drawing with an outside tutor, Mr de la Cours who came to the house every Monday and would continue to practice their artwork every other day.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection