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The Scottish Nation

HOWIESON, WILLIAM, A.R.S.A., an eminent engraver, the son of a carver and gilder in Edinburgh, was born in 1798, and educated in Heriot’s Hospital. Having early evinced a taste for art, he was bound as an apprentice to Mr. Andrew Wilson, an engraver in Edinburgh of considerable repute in his day. He was afterwards employed by Mr. Lizars, engraver, and others. Some book plates which he executed indicated such an amount of talent as to attract the notice of Mr. D. O. Hill, secretary to the royal Scottish Academy, whose recommendation influenced Mr. George Harvey, R.S.A., to intrust to him the engraving of his highly popular painting of ‘the Curlers.’ The engravings were issued in 1838. In consequence of its excellence as a work of art, Mr. Howieson was chosen an associate engraver of the Royal Scottish Academy. His next work was an engraving from Sir William Allan’s ‘Polish Exiles,’ Harvey’s ‘Covenanters’ Communion; followed, and ‘The Skule Skallin,’ by the same artist. All these works are of large dimensions, and are engraved in the line manner, with such tasteful beauty and elaborate finish as to entitle Mr. Howieson to a very high rank in his own department of art. Unseduced by the showy popular attractiveness and facility of what is called the mixed style of engraving, he devoted himself, with unsparing fidelity and application, to the laborious tediousness and comparatively unremunerating practice of what he conceived to be the true and high in his art. Mr. Howieson died December 20, 1850, leaving a widow and three children.

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