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John Ramage Portrait

John Ramage

Born:
Dublin, Ireland

Died:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada 1802

Active in:

  • New York, New York
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Caption:
Collection of the Walters Art Museum.

Biography

John Ramage entered the Dublin School of Artists in 1763 and subsequently he established himself in that city as a goldsmith and miniaturist. In 1772 Ramage traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in search of patrons, settling three years later in Boston where he continued his vocation with some degree of success. When John Singleton Copley, Boston's most prominent painter, left for England in 1774, the field opened for other artists. Ramage joined "the Loyal Irish Volunteers," a military regiment defending Boston on behalf of the British Crown. Ramage's loyalty to the king led him to New York City in 1777, which was then under British occupation. He traveled back and forth between New York and Halifax, troubled by debt, bigamy, and failing health due to alcoholism. In 1794, to escape further debts, Ramage fled to Montreal, where he died in 1802.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

John Ramage studied at the Dublin School of Artists in 1763, by 1772 was working in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and two years later was painting miniatures in Boston. With the outbreak of the Revolution, however, he joined the Loyalist forces and marched with his troop back to Halifax in April of 1776. His regiment returned to New York the following year and Ramage remained in the city, developing a successful career as a miniaturist. In 1794, financial difficulties led him to move to Montreal.