I recently came across the above portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. It is a portrait that stopped me, I think because of the young man’s vivid eyes and his sporting attire. It left me feeling that I wanted to find more about the life of this young man.
The portrait is of Ion Keith-Falconer (1857-1887) the son of the Earl of Kintore. He was an athlete, a champion cyclist and the world cycling champion of 1878. He was also a Professor of Arabic and went on to be a Missionary in Aden where his life was cut short due to repeated bouts of malaria.