David Donaldson, Dr Winifred Margaret Ewing, 1970

David Donaldson (born Chryston, Strathclyde, 1916 - 1996)

The subject of Donaldson's painting, Dr Winnie Ewing, has been a member of three Parliaments; 8 years in the House of Commons, 23 in the European Parliament and a member for Highlands and Islands in the first session of the Scottish Parliament. On 12 May 1999, as oldest member of the Scottish Parliament, she chaired the first meeting before the members had elected a Presiding Officer. She said of this that it was "by very good fortune I was three months older than John Young, a former Glasgow Bailie". Dr Ewing took the oath in Gaelic and opened Parliament with the speech that included the phrase she had long wished to say or hear said: "The Scottish Parliament, which adjourned on 25 March 1707, is hereby reconvened."

The portrait is on loan to the Scottish Parliament Art Collection.

Oil painting of Dr Winifred Ewing


This portrait by David Donaldson, limner to Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland from 1977 until his death, shows Dr Ewing as a young politician. It is one of three portraits painted of her by the artist following the 1967 Hamilton by-election. After she won the by-election, her husband Stewart Ewing commissioned a portrait with winnings from a bet placed on the outcome of the vote. This portrait shows Dr Ewing wearing a brooch containing a piece of the Stone of Destiny, and her SNP badge.

Artist Biography

Born in 1916, David Donaldson was first commissioned to paint Her Majesty The Queen in 1966 and went on to become Painter and Limner to Her Majesty in Scotland in 1977. He studied at Glasgow School of Art and was involved with the college from age 15 until he retired at 65, becoming Head of Drawing and Painting in 1967, after twenty-three years of teaching full-time.

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