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Art in Scotland
Chapter XII


OF the art of painting in Scotland we can trace step by step backwards, with many gaps it is true, the gradual development, and within these gaps may be written civil war or religious disturbance. The pictures already referred to, show that although few names are known, Jamesone and Scougal were not our first native artists; but still these may be considered the founders of the school. In the wall and ceiling decorations of some of the old buildings already mentioned, we see the beginnings of the art of landscape- painting as well as of history and poetry in the seventeenth century; and from the traditional period, as it may be called, of Scottish art, its progress can be clearly followed in the works of men whose names can be identified with their works, and of whose lives we know something.

In one respect Scottish art in painting stands alone as contrasted with that of other nations it has risen into its full development within the space of the last hundred years, and is thus the reflex of the character of a people comparatively free of ecclesiastical influence or State patronage. Its growth has kept pace with the extension of our commerce, the concentration of wealth by trade, and the cultivation of our literature; and it has depended entirely from its very beginnings on the general public for its encouragement. It is thus that the noble portraits of the great Raeburn, whether representing the types of Scottish manhood or of the mothers and daughters of the people, are as distinctly Scottish as those of Velasquez and Titian are Spanish and Italian; Wilkie in his domestic scenes, when uncontaminated by foreign travel, is as distinctly national as Teniers, Ostade, or Terburg; Harvey in his Covenanting subjects is more local than, and as earnest as, any artist who ever portrayed the agonies and sufferings of saints and martyrs: among the dead, Horatio M'Culloch, and among the living, Peter Graham, M'Whirter, and others, are truer to the instincts and character of their native land than were Claude, Ruysdael, or Rosa; Sir William Allan, who died in front of his picture of the Battle Qf Bannockburn, Thomas Duncan, and our other historical painters, found their most successful subjects in the incidents of Scottish history; and John Phillip, latterly so distinguished by his magnificent Spanish pictures, probably owes that distinction and success in his work to the similar temperament of the Scot and the Spaniard, so observable, as already mentioned, in Raeburn's work.

The pictorial art of Holland nearly approaches that of Scotland in the assertion of its homely character, but we look in vain along the walls of the Scottish galleries for those evidences of municipal patronage which are seen at Amsterdam and the Hague. In England, almost to the present day, the influence is felt of Vandyke, Kneller, and other foreigners; but in Scotland there is little indication of foreign influence, except in some of the works of Jamesone, prior to the year 1630. No foreign artist of great eminence was ever tempted to settle in Scotland and thus leave his influence on Scottish art: the greatest was Medina, whose works are neither Scottish nor Spanish in character. It is true that our native artists practising abroad painted in the manner of the people among whom they were located, and therefore Jacob More, Gavin Hamilton, Aikman, and others, have left little in their works in common with what has become the recognised style of the art of their native country.

From what has already been said, it will be easily understood that portrait-painting was the earliest developed branch of the art in Scotland, and we may safely assume that it took its full position in the works of Raeburn, whose life links the last with the present century. Endowed with great genius, he had the advantage of living at a time when the Modern Athens was graced by the most distinguished coterie of eminent men ever gathered together in that city, and most of whom were the subjects of his brush. The great breadth of execution, fine colour, and masterly form evident in all his works, and the peculiar sweetness of tone, grace, and tenderness of his female portraits, worthily entitle him to the high rank he holds as the representative of the school. Our landscape art was the next to be fully matured in the works of the elder Nasmyth, immediately after which, or indeed almost simultaneously, our domestic painters began to distinguish themselves, among the earliest of whom was David Allan, culminating in the exquisite works of Wilkie, whose Village Festival will compare favourably, in subtlety, colour, and execution, with any picture of the kind ever painted, and which class of art is still worthily represented by Thomas Faed. Our landscape artists, however, did not definitely get hold of the character of Scottish scenery till almost the time of M'Culloch, and there is little doubt that the art received its greatest impetus from the publication of the works of the great Wizard of the North, whose 'Lady of the Lake,' after the year i8io, when it first appeared, drew public attention to the beauty of Scottish scenery, and awakened such an enthusiasm for the Highlands that crowds flocked to enjoy the beautiful scenes of that charming and still popular romantic poem. In point of date, historical painting succeeded the domestic style, led by Alexander Runciman and followed by Sir William Allan; for although Gavin Hamilton had in 1776 exhibited in London his Queen Mary resigning her Crown, it was painted in Rome, and entirely under the influence of the fashion then prevailing in that city. In regard to religious art, although we have noble specimens left us by William Dyce and Robert Scott Lauder, it could hardly be expected that Presbyterian Scotland should have proved a fertile nursery for that branch of painting, whatever may result in the future from the noble efforts of Sir J. Noel Paton.

Excepting Ramsay, who spent but a comparatively short time in Edinburgh, and David Martin, who passed the last twenty-two years of his life in the same city, no native painter of any eminence remained long in settled practice in Scotland between the time of Scougal and that of Raeburn. In addition to those mentioned, one of the more immediate predecessors to Raeburn was John Bogle, who died in 1804. He was a native of Glasgow, and is thus referred to by Allan Cunningham "He loved to paint the heads of ladies, which no one did more gracefully. His portrait of the Lady Eglinton, to whom the 'Gentle Shepherd' is inscribed, may be compared with any miniature of modern times. He excelled in small likenesses, was a little lame man, very proud, very poor, and very singular. He imagined himself of high descent, and claimed, in conversation at least, the Earldom of Menteith." At the request of the Earl of Mar, he made an accurate copy of a small portrait of Mary Queen of Scots. The original of this, which was painted on copper by an artist in France, came into the possession of the Earl of Mar's family, in accordance with the request of the queen expressed shortly before her death, and being nailed to a wall in one of the apartments in Alloa House, was destroyed by fire.' Even Bogle, however, does not seem to have remained settled in Scotland, as the address of "Panton Square" is attached to his miniatures at the London Academy, where he exhibited in 1775, 1776, 1777, and 1787, one of these being a representation of Vertumnus and Pomona.

With the exception of Allan Cunningham's short biography of Sir Henry Raeburn in his 'Lives of British Artists,' it is remarkable that no memoir of the artist appeared till that compiled and published by his great-grandson William Raeburn Andrew in 1886, sixty-three years after his death, although he was a prominent figure in the Scottish metropolis, associating intimately with many literary celebrities who could have done the task so well. Valuable as this memoir by his descendant is, much more interesting it would have been if written by his friend Christopher North, or Sir Walter Scott, who sat to him oftener than to any other artist, and by both of whom he was held in the highest esteem. He was born on the ist of March 1756 at Stockbridge, then a suburb of Edinburgh, and was the descendant of a Border family. His father Robert was a mill proprietor, and, with his wife Ann Elder, lived in pretty comfortable circumstances; but Henry had the misfortune to lose both his parents when little more than six years of age. William, his elder brother by twelve years, did the best he could to supply the loss, and through the offices of some friends, got him placed in "Heriot's Wark," where he got a good plain education, and received the other benefits of that excellent institution, showing an early capacity for drawing. He was removed from school about the age of fifteen, and apprenticed to Mr Gililand, a jeweller and goldsmith, at his own desire, and immediately, in addition to showing proofs of taste and ingenuity in his regular work, evinced his talent for art in the production of some watercolour miniatures of his friends, for which he received much praise among his associates. Some of these coming under the observation of his employer, he took him to David Martin's studio to see that artist's portraits, and as he had begun already to earn a little money by his miniatures, he determined to follow the art, and arranged with his master to pay a sum of money in lieu of completing the period of his apprenticeship. He was, it may be said, entirely self-educated, as all the instruction he ever received was an occasional hint from Martin, who lent him some pictures to copy, but latterly became more reserved when lie recognised a future rival, and withdrew his countenance, blaming him undeservedly for selling some of the copies made from his work. From miniatures he went into oil-portraits, and numerous commissions followed his efforts, some of the leading citizens recognising the young artist. He contracted an intimacy with John Clerk, afterwards the learned and humorous Lord Eldin, who was then no richer than his artist friend. It is related of Clerk that on one occasion he invited Henry to dine with him at his lodgings, and on the arrival of the pair at the dinner-table, found the landlady spreading the cloth and laying out three herrings and three potatoes, although he had told her that as a gentleman was to dine with him there ought to have been six herrings and a corresponding number of potatoes. At this time he made some experiments in landscape and history, but did not carry them further than mere trials.

When he was the age of twenty-two, a young and pretty-looking widow called at his studio for the purpose of having her portrait painted. The rather dangerous experiment had a perfectly natural result. Her appearance was somewhat familiar to thertist, from having seen her in the course of some of his walks. He produced a very charming portrait of the lady, who was as sensible and good as she was good-looking, and within a month after their first acquaintance, gave him her hand in marriage, together with a handsome fortune. Her name was Ann, Countess Leslie, being the widow of a French count, and daughter of Peter Edgar of Bridgelands.

After spending some years at Deanhaugh House, the property of his wife, with a view towards improving himself in his art he went to London, bearing an introduction to Reynolds, to whom he submitted some specimens of his work. It is said that he wrought for a few weeks in his studio, after which Sir Joshua strongly advised him to proceed to Rome, and at the same time, being unaware of his circumstances, generously offered to advance him the necessary means. Acting upon this advice, in company with his wife he spent two years studying in Rome, where, as the bearer of introductory letters from Reynolds, he was well received, especially by his countryman Gavin Hamilton, and the then popular Pompeo Battone. He returned to Scotland and settled again in his native city in 1787, from which time onwards he took his position as the only eminent portrait-painter in Scotland, much to the chagrin of Martin, who spoke of him as the lad in George Street, remarking that he painted better before he went to Rome. During his Roman visit he was so fascinated by the sculptor's art that for a short time he entertained the idea of devoting himself to sculpture instead of painting—which, however, he did not follow up further than by an experimental medallion of himself.' On the death of his elder brother William, he succeeded to St Bernard's, then a picturesque locality, where wooded banks margined the clear stream of the Water of Leith, and to which he removed from Deanhaugh. In 1793 he built his large and handsome studio at York Place, the upper flat of which formed a gallery lit from the roof, measuring 55 by 35 feet, and 45 in height, in which some of the exhibitions of the Society of Artists were held, as well as the early ones of the Royal Institution. Allan Cunningham speaks of the fine appearance of this gallery, and how he was struck with the portraits of some Highland chiefs—

"All plaided and plumed, in their tartan array"—

in close proximity to which were others of grave, stern-browed Lowlanders, and groups of ladies and children, with snatches of landscape.

After his return from Italy he received a commission from the Harveian Society of Edinburgh, for a portrait of William Inglis, one of their original members. Soon afterwards, for the same Society he did a portrait of their second president, Alexander Wood, and another of Professor Duncan for the Royal Public Dispensary, of which that gentleman was the founder. These were probably the first works executed after his return from Rome: they attracted considerable attention in Edinburgh, and were succeeded by the portraits of Principal William Robertson, Dr Adam Ferguson, and Lord Provost Elder. He began to exhibit in the Royal Academy in London in 1792, in which year he showed portraits of a lady and a gentleman. These were followed in 1798, when he was in the full bloom of his popularity, by his portrait of Sir Walter Farquhar, in 1799 by a portrait of a gentleman, and in 1802 by that of Dr Rutherford. After an interval of eight years his name again appears in the catalogue attached to the portrait of "Walter Scott, Esq., author of the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel,' &c."; and in 18 11 and 18 12 he exhibited, respectively, the Rev. Sir H. Wellwood Moncreiff, the Chief of the Macdonells, &c., after which he was a frequent contributor.' The portrait of Scott was painted for Constable the publisher, and afterwards passed into the collection at Dalkeith Palace. After its exhibition an engraver ventured a mezzotint of the portrait, which he anticipated would be a great success; regarding which Cunningham thus relates the painter's remarks, "The thing is damned, sir, gone, sunk—nothing could be more unfortunate. When I put up my Scott for sale, another man put up his Molyneux. You know the taste of our London beer-suckers—the African sells in thousands, and the Caledonian won't move."

In the early exhibitions of his native city he took an active interest, and contributed to the first exhibition in i8o8 of the Society of Scottish Artists, of which he was elected president in succession to George Watson, in the year before it was so unfortunately broken up. As already mentioned, he was one of those who honourably endeavoured to prevent that, and also the division of the profits among the artists by themselves; and he also espoused the cause of the artists in their early dissatisfaction with the management of the Royal Institution. In the year 1814 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in London—an honour which was conferred on him without the usual canvas for votes, and at a time when applicants for the distinction were particularly numerous. His great-grandson, Mr W. R. Andrew, quotes the following from a letter addressed to a brother artist: "They know I am on the list: if they choose to elect me without solicitation, it will be the more honourable to me, and I will think the more of it; but if it can only be obtained by means of solicitation and canvassing, I must give up all hopes of it, for I would think it unfair to employ those means." In the year following he was elected full Academician.

In the autumn of 1822 George IV. visited Scotland, on which occasion the artist, along with Captain Adam Ferguson, was knighted at Hopetoun House, in the presence of the noblest in Scotland. It is reported that the king was so pleased with Raeburn, that he remarked to Sir Walter Scott that he would have made him a baronet but for the injustice which it might have done to the memory of Reynolds. On the 5th of the following month of October, his fellow-artists entertained him at a dinner, which was presided over by the venerable Alexander Nasmyth. He was appointed his Majesty's Limner for Scotland in the following May, and died after a week's illness, from no visible complaint, on the 8th of July 1823, the day on which the notification of his appointment was received in Edinburgh, at the age of sixty-seven.

Among other distinctions conferred upon him, he was elected a member of the Imperial Academy of Florence; honorary member of the New York Academy of the Fine Arts in 1817; honorary member of the South Carolina Art Academy in 1821; and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He excelled in archery, was a keen golfer and angler, and besides being fond of experimenting in boat-building, took much interest in architecture. He planned and built the beautiful suburb of Stockbridge, in which he lived, and which was sometimes called Raeburnsville. Few men were better calculated to command respect in society; He had a tall, manly, handsome figure, a fine open countenance with dark lustrous eyes, of gentlemanly and agreeable manners, and possessed an extensive command of anecdote, well told and happily introduced. To enumerate his portraits would be to name the most eminent men in Scotland, including the poet Burns, whose portrait he painted about 1803 for Cadell and Davies, which is now unfortunately lost. The portrait of Scott was one of his earliest exhibited; another of the same was his last ; and it has to be noted that the portraits painted in the closing years of his life were unquestionably his best. Dr John Brown has said of Raeburn's own likeness that no better portrait exists, and is no way inferior to that of his "dear little wife, comely, and sweet, and nice, sitting in the open air with a white head-dress, her face away to one side of the picture, and her shapely, bare, unjewelled arms and hands lying crossed upon her lap." He was ever ready to aid merit, and to give a helping hand to a young artist. It is related of him that on one occasion while taking his usual morning walk in his garden, he saw a little boy who had clambered over the wall, holding a piece of paper and evidently frightened for the result of his trespassing. The paper showed a drawing of a Gothic window in the library, and the budding artist was henceforth encouraged, and allowed free access. The trespassing youth was the afterwards famous David Roberts.

Regarding his practice, he generally had three or four sitters in a day, whom he seldom detained more than two hours, often less. He preferred painting the head and hands only, and for this he was satisfied with four or five sittings. He never "drew in" his work, but wrought entirely with his brush, beginning with the forehead, and after indicating the chin, marked in the other features. Quoting from one of his sitters, Cunningham relates how, "having placed me in a chair on a platform at the end of his painting-room in the position required, he set up his easel beside me, with the canvas ready to receive the colour. When he saw all was right, he took his palette and his brush, retreated back step by step, with his face towards me, till he was nigh at the other end of the room. He stood and studied for a minute more, then came up to the canvas, and without looking at me, wrought upon it with colour for some time. Having done this, he retreated in the same manner, studied my looks at that distance for about another minute, then came hastily up to the canvas and painted a few minutes more." Also: "I found him well informed, with no professional pedantry about him; indeed no one could have imagined him a painter till he took up the brush and palette. He conversed with me upon mechanics and shipbuilding, and if I can depend upon my own imperfect judgment, he had studied architecture with great success." Sir Walter Scott also thus describes him: "His conversation was rich, and he held his story well. His manly stride backwards as he went to contemplate his work at a proper distance, and when resolved on the necessary point to be touched, his step forward was magnificent. I see him in my mind's eye with his hand under his chin contemplating his picture, which position always brought me in mind of a figure of Jupiter which I have somewhere seen." It is often stated that his style was based upon that of Reynolds, but there is only that similarity and breadth of effect which is the characteristic of all great art. He was only thrice in London, but of course the works of Reynolds were not unknown to him in his younger days. "In the square touch in heads, hands, and accessories of Raeburn," says Wilkie, "I see the very counterpart of Velasquez." Among his last works were a series of half-lengths of distinguished friends, painted for his own pleasure.

The late Mr Drummond, R.S.A., gives an amusing anecdote of a portrait in mezzotint of George IV. after Raeburn, which monarch never sat to the artist. The publisher of this print had brought out a number of portraits after Raeburn, and thinking that one of his Majesty would be a good speculation on the occasion of the royal visit to Scotland in 1822, looked over his stock of plates, and selected that of the courtly Professor Hope, who was sitting in a dignified sort of way. This he sent to the engraver, had the head polished out and replaced, and a star put on the breast, the result being a right royal portrait of the first gentleman in Europe.

It is said that late in life he thought of establishing himself in London, but was dissuaded by Sir Thomas Lawrence, whom he consulted. This was probably in 181o, when he was introduced at the Crown and Anchor by Wilkie to Flaxman, Beechy, and other Royal Academicians. The Messrs Redgrave, who relate this circumstance, give rather an unfair criticism of his work. While stating that "little opportunity has been afforded us of seeing many of his works," they further add, "it may fairly be assumed that he owed part of the reputation which he enjoyed to his somewhat isolated position as the head of his profession in Scotland, and might not have been able to sustain it in London." [Redgraves' Century of Painters.]

Raeburn is well represented in the Scottish National Gallery, five of the works there being the property of the Board of Manufactures, and three belonging to the Academy. Prominent among these are, the charming head of the beautiful Mrs R. Scott Moncreiff, so often reproduced by the budding artists of Edinburgh; the fine half-length seated portrait of Mrs Kennedy of Dunure, painted with his usual breadth and clearness—a successful treatment of a very difficult scheme of colour; and the massive Spanish- looking portrait of Dr Adam, the outstretched hand in which is a perfect marvel of broad and masterly handling. His works generally stand well, although the first-mentioned of these three is considerably cracked in parts. An exhibition of his paintings was instituted by some gentlemen of taste in 1876, when 325 of his works, collected from every available source, were shown in the galleries of the Royal Scottish Academy. It was very highly appreciated and well attended; and although many of his finest works were absent, the exhibition not only stood the severe test, but largely augmented the fame of the distinguished artist. [At the sale of the family portraits in 1877, his own portrait brought 510 guineas; Lady Raeburn, 950; his son on a pony, 410; Sir Walter Scott, 310; study of a boy with cherries, 240; study of a child, 280; Mrs Johnston, "Contemplation," 185; and Mrs Hamilton, 225. At the sale of the collection of Laurent Richard, the portrait of a Greenwich Pensioner was purchased for the Louvre for 2400 francs, in 1886. In 1887, Raeburn's portrait of himself was sold for 350 guineas; Lady Raeburn's, 810; and Henry Raeburn's, 300.]

Next to Raeburn in point of date was George Watson, son of John Watson of Overmains in Berwickshire, and Frances Veitch of Elliott, born on his father's estate in 17 6 7. He went to London at the age of eighteen with an introduction to Sir Joshua Reynolds, in whose studio he wrought for about two years, having previously received some instruction from Alexander Nasmyth in Edinburgh. On his return to Scotland he began to practise portrait-painting on his own account in the capital, and about the same time married Rebecca Smellie, the eldest daughter of William Smellie, a printer, and one of the founders of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries. He was the first president of the Society of Scottish Artists till 1812, and was also the first president of the fifteen artists who inaugurated the Scottish Academy, of which he was one of the most ardent promoters. On the dissolution of the Society, the members presented him with a piece of plate in appreciation of his services. Although by no means equal to Raeburn, he held an honourable position in Edinburgh during the latter years of that eminent artist's life, and has left numerous excellent portraits of very great firmness and breadth of execution. On account of the impression which he made in the Royal Academy exhibitions, he was invited to London about 1815, where he painted portraits of the Dean of Canterbury, Lord and Lady Combermere, and a characteristic one of Sir Benjamin West, the president of the Royal Academy, gifted by his son, W. Smellie Watson, to the Scottish National Gallery: a duplicate of the latter was sent to the Academy of Art at South Carolina, of which he was elected an honorary member. The Scottish National Gallery contains his portrait of Alexander Skirving the artist, and the Scottish Museum of Antiquities possesses one of William Smellie of natural history fame. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy in London, where he made his first appearance in 1808 with a portrait of an old Scotch gentleman, and a Young Lady at Toilette. His own portrait was exhibited therein i8ii,where also at a later period he exhibited a portrait of Sir Evan Macgregor, which was highly praised by Wilkie.

George Watson was followed by his nephew, the distinguished Sir John Watson Gordon, born in 1788, whose work, although not so broad in its touch as Raeburn's, was, especially in his male portraits, very strong and powerful. Of the same old landed family as his uncle, he was by his grandmother on the father's side a distant relative of Sir Walter Scott; and among his mother's relations were Principal Robertson the historian, "Shipwreck" Falconer, and Andrew Henderson, one of the Scottish Reformers. His father, who was a naval officer, intended that he should join the army. After a fair education, being too young by some months to apply for a cadetship at Woolwich, he was permitted to employ the interval by attending the Trustees' Academy, where it was not to be wondered at that under the influence of John Graham he became infected by a passion for art, associating with Burnet and Wilkie, who were his fellow-students there. No doubt, also, the example of his uncle, who was then in a good position as an artist, further induced him to follow art instead of arms, and so for the succeeding four years he became an industrious and enthusiastic student. Under the tuition of Graham, the supervision of his uncle, and the encouragement of Raeburn, free from all influence of foreign style or mannerism, young Watson gradually developed the innate national character, until his works became also typical of the school which he represented. At first, with the enthusiasm of youth, he resolved to follow the historical and fancy style of painting, and sent to the 18o8 exhibition in Edinburgh a subject from the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel.' For many years afterwards he continued to paint a similar class of subject with varying success. Although this desire never left him, he soon found that his forte lay in portraiture, in which he early began to distinguish himself. There being several artists then in Edinburgh of the name of Watson, in 1826 he assumed in addition that of Gordon, and in the following year exhibited at the Royal Academy in London a portrait of a grandson of the Earl of Mansfield, and Lady Emily Murray of the same family. In 1831, in the same exhibition, appeared his portrait of Sir Walter Scott, and three years afterwards he became a regular and important contributor. He was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1841, and on the death of Sir William Allan, was unanimously elected president of the Royal Scottish Academy, of which he was one of the most zealous supporters, receiving in the same year the appointment of her Majesty's Limner for Scotland, with the accompanying honour of knighthood. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1851, and continued till his death, on the 1st of June 1864, to take a deep interest in all art matters connected with the city in which he held such an honourable position. Up till within a few years of his decease he painted with all his wonted vigour, and the works which he has left are as truly representative of the Scottish painter as they are of his Scottish subjects. While the delineation of his male characters may favourably compare with any other artist of the school to which he belonged, he has never approached Raeburn in the grace and beauty of womankind, or Harvey in his representations of the innocence of childhood, although the very few subject- pictures which he has left are mostly confined to the frolics of the latter.

Among his numerous portraits may be mentioned, in the Archers' Hall at Edinburgh, a full-length of John Earl of Hopetoun, Captain-General of the Scottish Archers, on the visit to Scotland of George IV.; and another of Earl Dalhousie, who filled the same office on the occasion of King William presenting them their standards as his Scottish Body-guard. The Writers to the Signet possess a full-length of Charles Hope, Lord Justice-General; and that body and the Faculty of Advocates have each a portrait of Lord Justice-General the Right Honourable David Boyle. In the Scottish National Gallery he is represented by portraits of Sir William Gibson-Craig of Riccarton; Henry, Lord Cockburn; the Right Honourable Andrew, Lord Rutherfurd; Lord Eversley, K.C.B. (painted for the Royal Scottish Academy, and presented by the artist); Lord Provost Sir William Johnston; and several others, including an unfinished head of Sir Walter Scott. One of his most successful heads was that of James Smith of Jordanhill, in the possession of the Duke of Argyll, for whom it was painted. In 185 he was awarded a first-class gold medal at the Paris Salon. His diploma work at the Royal Academy is from "Auld Lang Syne."

Although at one period of his life Alexander Nasmyth had a considerable practice as a portrait-painter, that artist's work has most closely identified his name with the art of landscape. Andrew Geddes was born about 1789, a native of Edinburgh, and the only son in a family of six children. His father David was an auditor of the Excise, who, besides possessing great taste, a few fine pictures, and a collection of books and prints, was in constant correspondence with Thomas Phillip, a leading printseller of the time, and on terms of friendship with Cohn Macfarquhar, whose ample means enabled him to indulge in the collecting of engravings, among which were numerous specimens of Rembrandt. His father being desirous that Andrew should become a good classical scholar, placed him at the university after complet- ing his ordinary education, where some years were devoted to Greek and Latin, a period of time which the artist always spoke of as being lost. On leaving the university, he began life in the same office with his father, where he remained nearly five years, during which all his leisure hours were given to copying pictures lent him by John Clerk (Lord Eldin), and at which time he made a reproduction from a copy of Correggio's Madonna del Coniglio. After his father's death in 1809, he resolved to become an artist, having previously visited London during a holiday, in the course of which he saw all the collections there, under the guidance of his father's friend Antony Stew-art the miniature- painter. When about the age of twenty, he returned to London and entered the school of the Royal Academy, where Haydon and Jackson were then studying, and where he first sat down beside his countryman Wilkie, with whom he contracted an enduring friendship. After some study there (according to his wife a few years, but probably not more than one), he returned to Edinburgh about i8xo, when he began to practise professionally, chiefly at portraits. Between this date and 1814 he painted, among others, Lord Hermand, the Earl of Buchan, Sir John and Lady Dick of Prestonfield, Mr Douglas of Orchardton, Henry Mackenzie, and Dr Chalmers. His studio was at 47 York Place, and latterly he had been making occasional visits to London during the season of the picture sales, buying on his own account and that of others. He also at this time began the practice of etching. He now made an excursion to Paris by way of Flanders, in company with John Burnet and other two friends, making some sketches in the Louvre during his stay. On returning to London, he entered into an arrangement with Burnet for painting an altarpiece of the Ascension for the church of St James, Garlick Hill, of which church Burnet's brother was curate. This picture, like his later Christ and the Woman of Samaria, was done more for fame than for remuneration, and was evidently painted under the influence of the great Assumption by Titian at Venice. He had then apartments in Conduit Street, but divided his time between London and Edinburgh, where he still retained a considerable practice. This necessitated occasional journeys between the two capitals, one of which was made in company with Sir D. Wilkie, and William Collins the artist, in 1822, when the latter got married to Miss Geddes.' Of this journey, one of Wilkie's letters contains a characteristic notice: "We got through our journey famously, and were less fatigued than we expected. The only subject of regret was, that Geddes's snuff-box was done by the time we got to Berwick. I was not asked to join, but the box passed between Geddes and Collins, and from Collins to Geddes, incessantly. You will imagine I did not feel much for their misfortune."

In the Royal Academy of London, so early as 1806, when only in his seventeenth year, he exhibited St John in the Wilderness. This was followed in 1808 by a Girl (candle-light), and numerous portraits in 1813, 1815, and 1816, in the latter of which he showed the portrait of his friend Wilkie. In 1821 his well-known picture of the Discovery of the Regalia was exhibited in London, and also in Edinburgh. This work, which is now in the Scottish National Gallery, includes, among the portraits of other celebrities, that of Sir Walter Scott, the sketch for the head of which was purchased by the art amateur Sir James Stuart of Allanbank, and is now in the Scottish Portrait Gallery. His two large pictures of the family of the Duke of Rutland were finished in 1827, and about the same date he did a half-length of the Duke of York, being the last for which his Royal Highness gave sittings, and which has been engraved by Hodgctts. He was married in the following year; soon after which, in company with his wife, he set out on a long-contemplated tour on the Continent, in the course of which he visited Paris, Lyons, Florence, and Rome, picking up his friend Andrew Wilson and his family at Genoa. During this visit he copied Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, in the Borghese Palace, and Veronese's St John Preaching and Queen Helena, in addition to portraits of Gibson and the Roman historical painter Camuccini. He also renewed his acquaintance with Turner at Subiaco, where that great artist painted his last exhibited picture at the Royal Academy, the Ruins of Nero's Tomb and the Mountains of Carrara. The following winter (1829) he lived in the house which had been occupied by Nicolo Poussin on the Monte I'inciano, and painted portraits of Cardinal Weld, the Ladies Mary and Gwendoline Talbot (afterwards the Princesses Doria and Borghese), and James Morier, the author of 'Haji Baba.' On account of his health he left for Naples, and after visiting Sorrento, Capri, and Salerno, returned homewards in the autumn, lingering long at Venice and Siena, where he made several copies, including Titian's Flora. While waiting on the preparation of the house which he had leased in Berners Street in 1831, he copied Lord Egerton's Titian's Diana and Acteon, which copy was afterwards sold at Christie's for 350 guineas. His next important work was Christ and the Woman of Samaria, after which he made a short visit to Holland. He expired in the arms of his wife on the 5th of May 1844, the anniversary of their marriage, having suffered for many years from consumption.

Geddes was possessed of an intimate knowledge of old Italian art, as an authority on which he was frequently consulted. Although he painted the few subject-pictures mentioned and one or two others, as well as an occasional landscape, he is chiefly known as a portrait-painter. His small full-lengths are fine examples of broad painting, combined with high finish, making the spectator feel that the scale in which a work of art is executed is of no consequence. His colour, always fine, changed in his latter period to a warmer hue, probably owing to a more intimate acquaintance with the works of the old masters. The head of his mother is extremely quaint and characteristic. That of himself suggests something of the style of Sir Thomas Lawrence. The small full-length of George Sanders the artist is a fine specimen of the beautiful colour and breadth of treatment with which he imbued this class of his work. His Summer, a bright-faced girl in a straw hat, is glowing with the colour of Rubens; and his Hagar, rather browned, evinces the influence of the old masters in its tone and style of drawing.' His small picture entitled Dry Reading, in the Vernon collection of the National Gallery in London, is said to be the portraits of George Terry and his wife, the daughter of Alexander Nasmyth the landscape-painter. At the sale of the Gibson-Craig collection in Edinburgh in 1887, his portrait of John Clerk, Lord Eldin, was sold for £27, 5s., and two sisters of the same for £32, XIS. each. Among his engraved works may be mentioned Lord Camperdown and Dr Chalmers, in mezzotint by Ward; a small whole length of "Man of Feeling" Mackenzie, in line by Rhodes; Mr Oswald of Auchencruive, by Hodgetts; and the Discovery of the Regalia, besides the portrait of the Duke of York.

His last picture, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1843, a large allegory of Spring, could hardly be expected to be a success, as he was then suffering acutely from the insidious disease which terminated fatally in the following year. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1832, for which he had entered his name unsuccessfully many years previous, when he felt the disappointment so keenly that he did not get over his non-election for long after. His own portrait is preserved in the Scottish Museum of Antiquities,' to which it was bequeathed by Dr David Laing, and was engraved by the late Mr Leconte for 'Etchings by Wilkie and Geddes.'

As an etcher of some forty small plates, Geddes occupies a remarkable position, being perhaps, with the exception of Wilkie, the most successful practitioner of that art in Britain in his time, and even for long after. With a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the value of the dry point, he combined a free and graceful use of the needle. Among the specimens which he has left are, a delicate and rich head of Alexander Nasmyth, a head of his mother, a charming little girl with a pear, the head of an Edinburgh auctioneer, and a luminous one entitled Give the Devil his Due. His well-known landscape plate, representing a broad tree overshadowing a cottage with a wooden gate and little bridge in the foreground, is exceedingly rich and brilliant. The first state bears no signature and has the sky marred by an experiment seemingly made with sand-paper. In point of genuine etching free of burr, it is questionable if these have been surpassed by any of the recent professors of this now popular branch of art.

Among the Scottish artists who were conspicuous in the eyes of the public at the time of the foundation of the Scottish Academy, none stood out more prominently or deserved higher commendation than William Nicholson. A native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, born in 1784, he was long resident in Edinburgh, where he was foremost among those who resolved to abandon their connection with the Royal Institution. Fortunately for himself, as well as for the infant Academy, he was placed in such circumstances of worldly ease as to be totally independent, and, with a fortitude which knew no quailing, he stood forward and nobly sustained the combat in which hauteur, pride, and arrogance sought to crush the rising spirit of the young Academicians. He was the Academy's first secretary from 1826 till 1829, and treasurer for the following year, which position he resigned in consequence of the great amount of time required to fulfil the duties of that office. While his large portraits possess great power and truth of expression, his reputation chiefly rests upon those executed in water-colours, which were prized in his time to such an extent that they procured him the patronage of all the lovers of art among the nobility and gentry of Scotland. A good example of this class of his work is the portrait of Hugh W. Williams in the Scottish National Gallery, which has all the qualities of a high-class work excellent in colour, broadly painted, and well drawn, it possesses a high degree of finish which does not detract from the general impression. His miniatures are delicate and refined, and he is justly celebrated for his etchings of many of the Scottish literati of his day, which unite the freedom and richness of the painter-etcher with the delicacy of the regular picture-engraver's work. These, which were published accompanied by short biographical notices of the individuals, contained, among others, portraits of Robert Burns and his correspondent George Thomson, Professor Playfair, Bishop Cameron, Sir Walter Scott, the Ettrick Shepherd, Raeburn, Jeffrey, and Dr Carlyle. He spent the last twenty-five years of his life in Edinburgh, in the latter part of which he was for some time visibly declining. He was shortly before death considered to be recovering, but a sudden attack of fever terminated his life, after an illness of eight days, on the 16th of August 1844, in the sixtieth year of his age.

One of the Scottish portrait-painters who early migrated to London and soon took a fair position in the metropolis, was James Tannock, born in 1784 in Kilmarnock, where he was originally a shoemaker. After serving for some time with a house-painter, he received instruction from Alexander Nasmyth, and vent to London in his twenty-sixth year, where he attended the Royal Academy schools. After two or three years' study he began as a portrait- painter in Leicester Square, and made his first appearance as an exhibitor at the Royal Academy in 1813 with a portrait of a gentleman, after which he was a frequent exhibitor. For several years after 1818, the name of W. Tannock appears in the catalogues in addition to that of James, and to which is attached the same address. James died in London in 1863, and among other good portraits which he has left are those of Henry Bell, the famous steam-engineer; George Joseph Bell, professor of Scots Law in Edinburgh; and George Chalmers, F.R.S.—the second of these being in the Scottish Portrait Gallery; all are in oil, and life-size to the waist.

John Graham, better known as Graham Gilbert, one of the foremost Scottish portrait-painters of his day, and whose works will always retain a deservedly high position, was the son of David Graham, a West India merchant, and Agnes M'Aslan, both of Glasgow, where the artist was born in 1794 in the then fashionable Stockwell Street. After receiving a good education at the grammar-school he occupied a desk in his father's office, but at the age of twenty-four obtained the paternal consent to follow art as a profession, for which he had shown an early predilection, and became a student at the Royal Academy in London, where, in 1819, at the termination of his first year's study, he obtained a silver medal for drawing from the antique. Two years' further study secured him the gold medal for a painting of the Prodigal Son. The following two years were spent in Italy, and after his return he remained a short time in London, where he exhibited at the Academy in 1823 three portraits. He settled down as a portrait-painter in Edinburgh four years afterwards, when the Academy there was just forming. He became a member of the Royal Institution, but seceded from that body to join the Academy, taking rank as an Academician in 1830. He contributed a head of Rebecca to the first exhibition of the Dilettanti Society in his native city in 1828, which was then noticed for its grace and colour, qualities in which he always excelled. To these and the Scottish Academy's exhibitions he afterwards regularly contributed. It is said that while in Edinburgh he was commissioned to paint a portrait of Lord Jeffrey, in which he was unsuccessful, when the commission was transferred to Colvin Smith, recently returned from Italy, who made the only successful portrait of Jeffrey, whose face possessed some peculiar quality difficult to interpret. Graham after this returned to Glasgow, and among many other sitters had Miss Gilbert, niece of Mr Andrew Gilbert of Yorkhill, to whom he got married in 1834.

On Mr Gilbert's death, the niece succeeded to the estate, which was of great value, and with her husband removed from St Vincent Street to Yorkhill, the latter assuming the name of Gilbert in terms of the settlement of the estate.

After settling down in the practice of his art at Yorkhill, he made several visits to the Continent accompanied by his wife, and, along with Mr Buchanan of Stanley Mills, visited Spain, in the course of which he formed a collection of pictures, representative of the Italian, Flemish, and Dutch schools, which, along with many of his own works, were deposited in the Glasgow Corporation Galleries on the death of Mrs Gilbert in 1877. He took an active interest in the advancement of local art, and assisted by personal effort and by contributions of his own works to the walls of the local exhibitions of the West of Scotland Academy, of which he was president. He afterwards materially aided in the formation of the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. He sometimes painted fancy subjects; but in these he was never very successful, as he seems to have been wanting in imagination: he is thus chiefly known as a painter of portraits and fancy heads, and in those of ladies, more especially, is probably unsurpassed by any artist in the qualities of graceful drawing, beauty of colour, and tenderness of sentiment, rivalling in these respects some of the most eminent of the old Italian masters. Among his exhibits at the Royal Scottish Academy may be noticed his portrait of Sir John Watson Gordon (1855), painted for that institution, and which in the following year was exhibited in London. A noble portrait of a lady in a blue dress was one of the Scottish Academy's attractions in 1862; and in the same year he was represented at the London International Exhibition. His portrait of Mr Lawson (1866) is thus criticised in the 'Art Journal': "It displays that power of colour, clear, rich, and deep, which Mr Gilbert possesses in the highest measure, as if his place of study had been from youth to age on the shores of the bright Adriatic. Mr Lawson looks, in his official robes, like a doge of old Venice; and the notion is sustained by the Venetian sweetness and lucidity of the colouring, and the look of thorough completeness and mastership about the whole work, as though it belonged to an earlier and a greater school altogether." At Yorkhill House, which passed into the possession of Mrs Gilbert's nephew and nieces (Mrs Graham Gilbert having no family), are four family portraits, half-lengths : of these, one represents the artist's wife in a dark dress, with black lace sleeves, the pendant being that of her sister in white satin, both of the greatest beauty; the other two represent Mrs Gilbert's uncle, Mr Andrew Gilbert, and his sister—the head of the former, more especially, being probably one of the finest heads ever painted in Scotland, with all the power of Raeburn at his best. A slow and careful worker, he surrounded himself by casts of the most beautiful heads of antiquity, and frequently wrought with one of his favourite old masters beside him, as if to derive inspiration and measure his strength with the successful efforts of the men of old. Gibson the sculptor, one of his most intimate friends, was an occasional guest at York- hill, where the painter died of heart-disease, after a brief illness, on the 4th of June 1866.

Colvin Smith, one of the seceders from the Royal Institution, who held a prominent position in Edinburgh as a portrait-painter, was a native of Brechin, where he was born in 1795. After studying at the Royal Academy, he spent some time in earnest and enthusiastic study in Italy, where he made many excellent copies from the old masters, especially from Titian—and from Rubens, on his way home. He commenced portrait-painting in Edinburgh in 1827, when he took possession of the house and studio vacated by Raeburn, and his influential family connection and artistic talents soon led him into a most successful career. He painted many prominent men of his time, including "Man of Feeling" Mackenzie, and Scott: the latter he repeated some twenty times, on seven of which the poet and novelist gave him sittings. His portrait of Lord Jeffrey, already mentioned, he succeeded with only once, and his portrait of Scott has been spoken of by his contemporaries as one of the best of the many which were painted of that distinguished individual. Colvin Smith's portraits are generally reckoned faithful likenesses, well drawn and simply treated. He is represented in the Scottish National Gallery by Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby, Viscount Melville, and the Right Honourable John Hope, Lord Justice-Clerk. He died in Edinburgh on the 21st July 1875.

Two painters of the name of Syme appear on the list of original members of the Scottish Academy. John (1795-1861) was an assistant to Raeburn, and painted many excellent portraits in oil. His very broad and characteristic portrait of the Rev. Dr Barclay, a rather famous Scotchman of his day, is in the Scottish National Gallery; and his own and that of Lord Cockburn are possessed by the Academy, of which he always maintained that he was the original suggester and founder. Patrick Syme (1774-1845) also sometimes painted portraits, but was almost exclusively known as a flower-painter, whose productions in that line received high praise in the early exhibitions of the Society of Artists from 1808 onwards. He was also a teacher of art in Edinburgh, where in x8io he published 'Practical Directions for learning Flower-drawing, at the price of two guineas, at the time favourably received. Four years later he published a translation of Werner's 'Nomenclature of Colours,' accompanied by diagrams. He was married to a daughter of Lord Balmuto, one of the Lords of Session, and lived in a house in Queen Street, now occupied by the site of the Philosophical Institution. He for some time filled the post of drawing-master at the well-known Dollar Academy, where his son was educated. The latter was the quite recently deceased eminent botanist, Dr John Thomas Irvine Boswell, who spent twenty years rewriting Sowerby's 'Botany,' and who dropped his father's name for that of the Boswell family when he succeeded to and settled down on that estate.

William Smellie Watson, the son of the first president of the Scottish Academy (1796-1874), was another of the foundation members of that institution, and attained a good position as a portrait-painter in Edinburgh. Trained at first under his father, he went to London in his nineteenth year, passing five years in the schools of the Academy there, and about another with Wilkie. To the first Scottish Academy's exhibition he contributed no less than thirteen works, and is represented in the Scottish National Gallery by a small picture entitled the Student. He had a taste for ornithology, and bequeathed his collection of birds to the Edinburgh University Museum.

Among other portrait-painters practising in Edinburgh prior to the foundation of the Scottish Academy, may be mentioned Thomas Fraser, whose portrait of the well-known C. K. Sharpe is in the Scottish Portrait Gallery, dated 1829, who died in 1851, having exhibited at the Royal Institution, and subsequently at the Academy's exhibitions up till so late as 1843; James Saxon, of Manchester birth (died about 1817), who settled for a few years in Edinburgh, where he painted a portrait of Sir Walter Scott in 1805; one of " Crihee the taylor, dealer in old shoes, broker, and picture pimp, the son of an Aberdeen appleman, ironically represented in the character of a connoisseur criticising a picture," and "the honest old Edinburgh eggman, companion to ditto"—so catalogued in the Newhall list of 1808. J.S. Harvie was resident in Edinburgh from 1804 till 1811, and painted a portrait of the first Marquis of Hastings, in the Scottish Portrait Gallery : he also exhibited one of the amateur artist the Earl of Buchan, at the London Academy in 18 11. J. T. Nairne was one of the Associated artists: he exhibited a portrait of Dr Adam Ferguson in 1812, and others in the two following years, a duplicate of one of which, George Dempster the agriculturist (1812), is in the Scottish Portrait Gallery.

William Yellowlees, known as the "Raeburn in little" from the usual small scale of his portraits, which are little larger than miniatures, was born at Mellerstain in Berwickshire in 1796, and studied under William Shiels the animal-painter (1785-1857). He was one of the foundation members of the Scottish Academy, practised in Edinburgh for about fifteen years, and then went to London, where in 1831 he exhibited in the Royal Academy portraits of Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Taylor and a Lady and Child, and also executed some commissions for Prince Albert. His heads, althougb of small size, are very remarkable for their great breadth of treatment, beautiful colour, and fine drawing: one of the Rev. Dr Jamieson is in the Scottish Portrait Gallery, and several family portraits are possessed by one of his relatives at Jedburgh. Sir William Fettes Douglas is the owner of a fine specimen which was shown at the loan section of the International Exhibition in Edinburgh in 1886. He died in London about 1856.

The now extinct art of miniature-painting had also numerous Scottish practitioners in the early part of the present century, many of whom, however, went to London. Among the earliest and most important of these was George Sanders, born in Kinghorn in 1774. He was apprenticed to 'a coach-painter in Edinburgh of considerable taste, where Sir William Allan, the future president of the Royal Scottish Academy, was his fellow-workman. After serving his apprenticeship he began to teach drawing and to practise as a miniature-painter, employing what leisure he had in painting marine subjects: the latter branch of his study culminated in, and ceased with, a panoramic view of Edinburgh, which was publicly exhibited. He went to London about 1805 or 1807, where, through the good offices of a literary gentleman, Mr Thomas Bryden, he was introduced to some of the Scottish nobility, and soon after assumed the position of the first miniature-painter in London. About 1811 he was employed by some of the Royal family, from among whom with other sitters he had the Princess Charlotte, who subsequently took a great interest in the artist, more especially by the expression of her sympathy for him during his first severe attack of ophthalmia. His prices for miniatures ranged from 8o to 100 guineas. On account of the frequent recurrence of ophthalmia he began to limit his practice as a miniaturist, and took to painting life-sized portraits in oil, which soon became in such demand that he is said to have received io guineas for a head-size, 250 guineas for a half-length, and £400 for a whole- length: for the portrait of the Marquis of Londonderry beside his horse, he was paid £800.

Great as seems to have been his success, he failed at times to render himself popular on account of a rather proud and peculiar temper, which showed itself soon after his arrival in London by declining to associate with the Royal Academy, or allowing any of his works to appear in its exhibitions. This feeling of jealousy was of course reciprocated by the members, and it was only at the solicitude of the Duchess of Gordon that he consented to send the portrait of the Duke, and another of a lady, to one of the exhibitions. On attaining middle life he showed himself a man of much culture, and although self-taught, was a good linguist, besides being well read in the Greek and Roman classics. Among his intimate friends were the Dukes of Marlborough, Rutland, and Gordon, Lord Wemyss, Sir William Cumming, and Campbell of Islay. His miniature of Lord Byron, painted in 1807, is of the highest excellence, both as a work of art and as a likeness. During the last twenty years of his life he was incapable of doing any work for about six months in the year out of the twelve, on account of inflammation in the eyes. The result was a total loss of practice; and what may be termed a brilliant career was terminated by his death in London in March 1846, his last years having been made as comfortable as possible by his friends, one of whom, Mr Menzies, a Leith shipbuilder, is especially mentioned. He had frequently visited Holland, Belgium, and France for the purpose of improving himself in his art. His works have a peculiarity of style approaching that of the French school of portraiture of that period, but generally superior in point of colour and effect. His miniatures are exquisitely finished, and rich and beautiful in colour, a specimen of which is preserved with some of his other works in the Scottish Portrait Gallery.

William Douglas, who was contemporaneous with Sanders, a lineal descendant of the Glenbervie family, was born in Fifeshire in April 1780. His early taste for art rather inclined him to follow landscape-painting, which very often formed an attractive feature in his miniatures. He was a fellow-apprentice with John Burnet under Robert Scott the engraver, but early took to miniature- painting, in which he attained a good position and high connection in England as well as Scotland, and was much employed by the Buccleuch family. In 1817 he was appointed miniature-painter for Scotland to the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold, afterwards King of Belgium. He was particularly distinguished for his miniatures of animals, which are notable for their cleverness, neatness of execution, and fidelity to nature. His constant engagements prevented him from contributing to the exhibitions in Edinburgh, but his name frequently appears in the catalogue of the Royal Academy. Combe the phrenologist had a cast of Douglas's head, which he refers to as indicative of his profession; and the poet Malloch attributes much of his love of nature to his conversations with the artist, who was brimming with enthusiasm for art. He died in Hart Street, Edinburgh, in 1832, leaving a widow, two sons, and a daughter.

WiIliam J. Thomson, R.S.A. (1771-1845), of about the same period, was a miniaturist of very great eminence, although he sometimes exercised his talents on large portraits and small full-lengths. To accuracy of execution he added great richness of effect, preciousness of finish, and depth of tone, which qualities still render his works of value.

In this branch of art the venerable city of Aberdeen again puts in a claim, being represented by Alexander Robertson, the father of miniature-painting in this country, who was as eminent in his art as he was distinguished for his benevolence. To his father, who was a cabinetmaker, he was indebted for the encouragement of his taste for art, as well as for the sound religious principles by which he was actuated all throughout his life. In the year 1800 he walked to London to seek his fortune, where he was lucky in attracting the notice of Sir Benjamin West, the president of the Royal Academy, who was so convinced of the talent of the young miniature-painter that he resolved to do all in his power to aid him. He accordingly engaged him to do the remarkable portrait of himself which is remembered as the foundation of the improved style of miniature-painting, in the execution of which both sitter and artist bestowed great patience. Fortune and fame flowed in upon the young painter; his pencil was kept busily engaged on the miniatures of distinguished personages, chief among whom was H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, one of his earliest and most constant patrons, and from the beginning of the century onwards his name frequently appears in the Royal Academy as miniature-painter to his Royal Highness. He did not, however, achieve that position in his art which he might have done. His works are carefully finished and drawn, but rather shortcoming in colour. This is usually attributed to the fact that he did not bestow his undivided attention on his art, but in a way in which the character of the man was ennobled at the expense of his position as an artist. Passionately fond of music, he practised so successfully as to be able to play second violin to the celebrated Salaman. When the country was threatened with the French invasion, he served with enthusiasm in the volunteer corps of his district, in which he attained a high rank; and, what was the greatest and also the most laudable cause of his abstraction from his art, he took an active interest in the creation and support of various charities. He is credited with a large share of the merit of establishing the Scottish Asylum; in the interests of the Scottish Church he was active among others in inviting the Rev. Edward Irving to form a congregation in London; it was Robertson who drew the attention of his patron, the Duke of Sussex, to the Artists' General Benevolent Institution—which had been already established by him and some of the members of the Royal Academy, and in the welfare of which he took an active interest during thirty years of his life. He died at Hampstead on the 15th December 1845, when his many virtues were chronicled in the obituary notices of that time. During his career he contributed articles on art to the 'Literary Gazette,' and retired from the profession in 1844, when the most distinguished miniature-painters in London presented him with a piece of plate. It may further be mentioned that he was secretary to the Associated Artists in Water-colours when that body was first formed in 1808, and employed as an assistant the late Sir William Charles Ross when a lad at the age of twenty. The latter has left a chalk head of his master, and another, spoken of as a good likeness, was executed by Illidge. He is as yet unrepresented in the Scottish National Galleries.' There is obscure notice of him having a brother less eminent in the same art named Alexander; if so, he is almost unknown.

Antony Stewart, who practised landscape and portrait painting in oil with some success at the close of last century, is said to have been a pupil of Nasmyth. He went to London, probably about 1805, where he chiefly devoted himself to miniatures, which he executed in a delicate and refined manner, with good colour.

There may be here added to the list of miniaturists the name of Margaret Gillies, who died so recently as the month of July 1887, at Crockharn Hill in Kent, one of the few links between this generation and that which preceded it. Her mother died while she and her sister were children, when they were intrusted to the care of Lord Gillies, Judge of the Court of Session, whose house in Edinburgh was one of the resorts of many of the notabilities of that city, including Sir Walter Scott, Lord Jeffrey, and Lord Erskine. At the age of twenty she chose art as a profession, soon after which she removed to London, where she was long a popular miniature-painter, exhibiting her productions at the Royal Academy, and latterly at the Society of Painters in Water-colours. She enjoyed in middle life the friendship of Wordsworth and Dickens, who, with Mrs Marsh and many others, sat to her for portraits.

Several foreign artists also practised portrait and miniature painting in Scotland early in the century, such as the American Chester Harding, and Peter Paillou from London, to whom it is unnecessary to refer here. When the population of the principal cities in Scotland, especially Edinburgh, at the close of the last and the beginning of the present century, is considered, as well as the almost total absence of the aristocracy from the capital, it must be admitted that art was not only fairly represented, but also appreciated by the educated and upper classes; and it is not to be wondered that the immensely greater importance of London as the capital of the United Kingdom should have tempted so many Scottish artists to a more remunerative and more widely appreciative sphere of labour.


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