Raeburn's famous The Skating Minister is a picture in two halves ("Skating minister claim is on very thin ice", The Herald, January 23).

The head and shoulders would have been painted from life, probably with the sitter resting his folded arms on a table. The rest of the figure's lively action pose must surely have been created from memory, imagination or sketches. This could be enough to make the picture somewhat unusual among Raeburn's work.

Douglas Hunter, Dairy Cottage, Harestanes, Roxburghshire.

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