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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
The Brothers Robert and Andrew Foulis, University printers, Glasgow


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 students—William 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 separation.


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