EDMUND THORNTON CRAWFORD, R.S.A. Born, 1806;
died, 29th September 1885.
The art of
landscape -painting in Scotland, as practised by Thomson of Duddingston,
is linked almost to that of the present day by the numerous works of E.
T. Crawford, whose memory is still fresh among his many friends. He was
born at Cowden, near Dalkeith, the son of a comparatively well-to-do
land-surveyor, and had his apprenticeship to a house-painter cancelled
in order to study art. He attended Andrew Wilson's classes at the
Trustees' Academy, and as an exhibitor made his debut at the Royal
Institution. His first contributions to the Scottish Academy were in
1831, after which he was one of the most regular and prolific of the
contributors with a variety of landscape subjects and sea- pieces, in
which he particularly excelled. He made the first of several visits to
Holland about 1831, during which he closely studied the works of the old
Dutch masters, and painted numerous pictures from Dutch scenery,
afterwards exhibited in Edinburgh. The sea and fishing craft attracted
his attention most, and it was in this line that he chiefly
distinguished himself in 1848, after which his works received high
praise for their good colour, vigour of touch, and freedom of execution.
His style of art may be said to be intermediate between the earlier and
more recent school of landscape-painting in Scotland, and he painted
almost exclusively in oil. He was elected Associate of the Scottish
Academy in 1839, and nine years later ranked as full Academician. His
death occurred at his residence at Lasswade. Two of his smaller works in
the Scottish National Gallery by no means represent the important
position which he occupied in the history of Scottish art.
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