Robert and Andrew
Foulis were the sons of Robert Foulis (an old
Glasgow surname), mailman in said city. Robert was originally
apprenticed to a barber, but both brothers studied at the University.
They were booksellers before they were printers. They also founded the
Glasgow Academy of the Fine Arts for teaching painting, sculpture, and
engraving. This was in 1759, nine years earlier than the founding of the
Royal Academy. The University gave them quarters, the Duke of Hamilton
gave them the run of his galleries, and John Glassford, John Campbell
(Clathie), and Provost Archibald Ingrain gave them liberal help.
In spite of it all, the scheme was
disastrous to the fortunes of the brothers Foulis; but the Academy
produced some good studentsóWilliam Cochrane, the portrait painter,
David Allan, the Scottish Hogarth," and James Tassie the modeller. We
also owe to it some interesting awl unique local views; one of which
shows the students hard at work in the fore hall of the old college.
Another shows the great fete held in the inner quadrangle on the
coronation day of George III., Tuesday, 22nd September, 1761 the walls
of the quadrangle are hung with pictures, and among these can be seen,
hung to the east face of the tower, just above Zachary Boyd, the famous
Rubens which Hamilton Palace has just recovered after a brief