Art in Scotland Its Origin and Progress by Robert Brydall (1889)
SOME years ago, when collecting notes
for a short series of Lectures on the History of Scottish Art, I was
very forcibly impressed by the fact that a subject of so great
importance had not hitherto been treated in a complete and systematic
manner. The origin and development of art in Scotland, the history of
its schools, the memoirs of its artists, and even the names of its most
representative examples, have not before been recorded in one work; and
the student who wished to obtain a comprehensive view of the subject has
had to painfully glean his information from a vast number of books, many
of them only very remotely connected with art. Impressed by my own
experiences of the obvious want of a succinct and complete History of
Art in Scotland, and acting on the advice of gentlemen whose opinions I
hold in respect, I have undertaken the book now laid before the public.
The work has been carried on con amore, in the very
brief leisure of an artist daily engaged in teaching his profession, and
without claim to literary experience. The care with which I have
collected information, and the extent and variety of the illustrative
facts which I have been able to bring together, will, I hope, atone for
any defects in point of form.
Originally I had intended to treat of the
subject of painting only; but as there are other branches of Art closely
allied to, and which frequently overlap, the work of the painter, it
would have been impossible to trace the progress of taste in Scotland
without occasionally referring to these, but I have not attempted to
treat them in an exhaustive manner.
biographical notices of recent artists, the difficulty had to be
encountered of making a representative selection and avoiding a mere
dictionary of artists; some whose names are now almost forgotten have
been included on account of the influence which they exercised in their
time, while others better known to their contemporaries have been
omitted. This reference is due also to the talents of such artists as
Messrs Manson, Anderson, and P. W. Nicholson, whose brief lives
prevented the full development of their talent.
Care has been taken to quote the sources of
information and the acknowledgment generally of extracts. In the latter
part of the subject, the 'Art Journal,' among other contemporary works,
has been freely drawn upon.
In placing the
History of Scottish Art before the public, my object has been to fill a
blank in our national literature, and to place on record the successive
steps by which Art in Scotland has attained its present high
pre-eminence. It is somewhat of a reproach that such a work has not been
undertaken before, and by a higher authority than I can claim to be.
Chapter I. Celtic art - Standing-stones - Early symbols - Irish
illuminations — Sculptured crosses—Sepulchral stones—Early
figure-sculpture - Early churches—Celtic metal-work—Decline of Celtic
Chapter II. Progress of art from the thirteenth century—Early
charter at Floors Castle—Psalters and missals—William the
Lion—Architecture - Sculptured figures and tombs—Queen Margaret—Painters
and art workmen—David II.—Anecdote of the Princess Ægidia—Houston
pictures—Fifteenth-century tombs and effigies—James I—Armorials—Linlithgow
sculptures, &c.—James II.—Chapel-Royal at Stirling—Fifteenth-century
paintings—Trinity Church and Holyrood altar-piece—Pictures in Fowlis
Chapter III. Supposed Scottish portrait of Joan of Arc—James IV.
and tomb of his father—Mynour the painter—Ledger of Andrew Halyburton—Expedition
of James V. to France—Sixteenth-century wood-carving - Native painters in
time of James V.—Portraits—Paintings in interiors—Banner found at Pinkie
field—Bishop Reid and Andrew Bairhum.
Chapter IV. Late sixteenth
and early seventeenth centuries—Queen Mary—Her portraits—John
Acheson—James VI.—His reception in Edinburgh— Baptism of Prince of Wales
in 1594—Late sixteenth-century portraits—Criminal art—Arnold Bronkhorst—Esther
Inglis—Holyrood decorations for James VI.
Chapter V. George Jamesone—Destruction
of art-work in the seventeenth century -Painted screen in Elgin
Cathedral -Lord Traquair's popish trinkets —Holyrood portraits by De
Witt—Early topographers— Alexander Alesse—Gordon of Straloch
—Seventeenth -century architects-William Schaw - David Anderson-The
Mylnes - Sir William Bruce—William Wallace—William Aytoun.
Chapter VI. Late seventeenth and early eighteenth
centuries—John Scougal—Corrudes—Hude—Paton—Wait—Sir John Medina—John
Medina— Thomas Murray—William Ferguson—J. Michael Wright—Office of
King's Limner—John Alexander—William Aikman—John Smibert —The Norries—Milton
House decorations—Academy of St Luke in Edinburgh—Richard Cooper the
Chapter VII. Late eighteenth century—Allan Ramsay—The Academy of
the brothers Foulis of Glasgow—Notice of its pupils—David Allan—James
and William Tassie.
Chapter VIII. Edinburgh Society for the Encouragement of Arts,
Sciences, and Manufactures—The Board of Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh.
Chapter IX. Late eighteenth century painters-Gavin
Hamilton—Jacob More Cunningham—Alexander and John Runciman—John
Donaldson— David Martin—George Willison—Archibald Skirving—John Brown
—William Robinson—Sir George Chalmers—Mrs Blackwell.
Chapter X. Architecture and sculpture in the eighteenth and
early nineteenth centuries—Colin Campbell —William Adam—James Gibbs—The
Adams—James Craig—William Stark, &c.—John Henning— Samuel
Josephs—William Mossman—John Greenshields—James Thom—Robert
Forrest—Thomas Campbell—Lawrence Macdonald, &c.
Chapter XI. Early Scottish engravers—Clarke—Elder—Richard
Cooper—Sir Robert Strange—Joshua Campbell—Andrew Bell—Francis Legat—Alexander
Robertson—Robert Scott—W. Douglas—James Stewart— Mitchell—Kay—Beugo-----John
Chapter XII. Formation of the Modern School of
Painting—Portrait-painters of the early nineteenth century—John Bogle—Sir
Henry Raeburn - George Watson—Sir John Watson Gordon—Andrew Geddes— William
Nicholson—James Tannock—John Graham Gilbert— Colvin Smith—John and
Patrick Syme—William Smellie Watson —T. Fraser—Saxon--J. S. Harvie—Nairne—Yellowlees—George
Sanders—William Douglas—W. J. Thomson—Alexander Robertson —Antony
Chapter XIII. Painters of history and genre of the early
nineteenth century—John Graham—Sir David Wilkie—Alexander
Fraser—Alexander Carse —James Burnet—William Kidd—Sir William
Allan—Alexander Chisholm—John Steven.
Landscape-painting in the early nineteenth century—The Nasmyths —G.
Walker—Thomson of Duddingston— H. W. Williams— J. F. Williams —Andrew
Wilson—John Wilson—The Schetkys-Ewbank—P. Gibson - Gibb - Gilfillan
- Donaldson - Barker - David Roberts.
XV. Society of
Incorporated Artists, 1808—Early exhibitions in Edinburgh —Royal
Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts—Royal Scottish
Chapter XVI. The National Gallery of Scotland—The National
Portrait Gallery— Private collections of works by the old masters.
Chapter XVII. Painting in Glasgow-Glasgow Corporation Collection-
Hunterian Museum Collection—Smith Institute at Stirling—Erskine
Collection at Culross—Local exhibitions—Art Unions.
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